Finding the Right Childcare
Did you know. . . Research proves that parents have an important influence on their child’s development regardless of how much out-of-home care children receive? So whether you work outside the home or you are with your child all day, you are still your child’s most influential teacher. Wow, that's heavy responsibility, right?
However, most parents today need childcare due to our lousy economy. So if you're in that boat, here are a few things to look for in your search:
- Adult turnover is low. A stream of new caregivers is unpleasant to young children. It may signal to you that a relationship problem exists between staff and the director, a problem that trickles down to your child.
- Children are touched frequently in positive and affirming ways. Children need to be touched, even if it’s a pat on the back, or holding hands during games.
- Each is addressed by name. There should be a minimal use of group terms like “the infants,” “babies” or “kids.”
- Caregivers are trained in early childhood education. If not degreed, they should be participating in continuing education every year.
- Look for a low adult/child ratio.
- Child-rearing and discipline philosophies are similar to yours. You want leave your child in an environment consistent with yours at home.
- Sign in and out policies are enforced. Especially if you leave your little one in a large center with lots of foot traffic, security precautions are a must.
Be wary of the caregiver with the Honey, I’ve been tendin’ kids for 20 years an I know all there is to raisin’ babies! attitude. A caregiver worth her salt – and your money – must learn about your child and continually sharpen her caregiving skills.
There's much more but, I like to keep my blog short. You can find a chapter with tons of tips about finding quality childcare in The Birth to Five Book, and you can get an autographed copy by mailing $14 per book to me at: P.O. Box 1302 | Mount Vernon, OH 43050. (offer good in the U.S. only)
What are your best tips for finding quality childcare? Feel free to leave your comment below.