When parents decide to entrust the care of their children to a child care provider, they are looking for a caring and safe environment where their children can grow and develop away from home. Parents may want to see that the facility is spacious and clean, that there is enough staff to care for and monitor the children, and that their little ones are comfortable. When children in care centers are comfortable, parents have greater peace of mind. When looking for a great program, consider the following elements that can create a lasting relationship between you and the provider.
Health and Safety Are a Priority
Yes, you are not expecting your child to be crawling or running around in messy rooms or play areas. But consider also other key security details that a provider should not overlook, such as installing fire detectors and extinguishers in their facility. A security policy should also be in place that prevents intruders from gaining access to the compound. In addition, children are accident prone and a well-stocked first-aid kit should be on hand.
There is a Learning Environment
Caregivers get to interact with children at the developmental stages of life. This is where emotions and personalities are formed. Great child care programs should seek to stimulate their development and growth. As you search for a provider, look for programs that will engage them physically, socially and intellectually. A great program will include reading, art, working with numbers, physical activities and free play. When you are able to determine the environment that your child thrives best in, you will find that program that will foster his growth.
Caregivers are Qualified and Personable
Qualified staff is one of the selling points in any program that offers care to children. Caregivers who have their qualification in early childhood education will understand children’s learning styles and be better able to satisfy their needs. Staff should have knowledge in administering CPR. Caregivers should also have the personal touch that makes a child feel comfortable around him or her. Being warm and friendly, showing a natural interest in children, talking with and engaging them in play and other activities, are qualities of good caregivers. Caregivers who sing, read, and speak with children and babies do add to a stimulating child environment. Those who hold engaging conversations with older ones through question and answer, will add to an enriching program.
Clear Rules and Policies Govern the Business
A program that provides care for children will establish policies to govern its operations. What are the business hours of the center? What happens if your child falls sick? What should happen in the case of particular emergencies? Well, if at the end of studying a center you are able to answer such questions from documented information, you know they consider their work seriously.
Child Providers are Licensed
Child providers who are licensed will proudly display their certification status in their lobby. If not, consider that providers have a responsibility to be licensed and accredited to operate. Accreditation is an indication that a provider is operating according to standards set out by state or government regulations. Each state has its own requirements for child operated centers.
Parents can get Involved
Child centers with great programs allow parents to feel connected to their child’s community. They have open-door policies that let parents visit to see how their children are doing, and even to discuss concerns that may arise. Centers that are not open to such communication and relationship may be suggesting that their operations are not above board.
There are many child care programs in Albany. However, it is important that parents do their research to identify those that have all the right elements to their programs.
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.