Finding Quality Child Care
It’s important for parents to know their child is in a safe and loving environment while they’re at work. Take your time and choose child care with care. These groups save parents a lot of time in identifying providers with openings that meet criteria such as care philosophy, training, location, schedule, and cost.
- National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
- National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs
- National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC)
Interviewing Child Care Providers
The next step is for parents to visit the child care programs they are considering. Parents should conduct a detailed interview. Make sure to ask questions like:
- Is the program licensed and regulated? Every provider (except those operated by churches, in some states) must have a license, which must be prominently displayed.
- What are the caregiver’s training and qualifications? What educational experience does the caregiver have? Caregivers with degrees and/or special training may be better equipped to help your child learn. Many states require continuing education classes.
- What is the adult to child ratio? Child development experts recommend one adult for every three to four infants (6 wks – 24 months old). States have specific ratio requirements by age.
- What is the environment like? Is the environment clean and is there enough space? Are there enough age-appropriate toys and learning materials for the number of children?
- What is the appearance of the children? Are the children clean? Do they seem happy, active, seemingly healthy and friendly? What is the sick policy?
- How are caregivers interacting with the children? Are children supervised at all times, even during naptime? Are children allowed to choose among activities? Are the caregivers talking and laughing with the children? Are children comforted when needed?
- Is there an open-door policy? Are parents free to visit, unannounced, at any time? Walk away from any program with visitation restrictions.
You can also learn more about The Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children, an Adventist Healthcare organization, in the video below. The Lourie Center is a non-profit agency with a mission to understand and strengthen the emotional health of parent-child relationships within our community through early prevention, intervention, education, research and training.