Hints for Choosing a Childcare Provider
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless." Mother Teresa
Parents are finding that quality childcare centers embody beliefs like the one above. In the coming months, we will focus on a few hints to help you make good decisions when choosing a child-care provider.
Watch for a well-trained staff. Numerous studies show that this is probably the most important, factor to determine the quality of a child-care center.
- Look for hands-on learning. Parents should look for a childcare center that provides a wide range of hands-on learning in the arts, science, math, reading and drama. Studies show children learn more when teachers provide many ways to learn and give children choices in how they want to learn.
- Rigid class structures hinder learning. Teachers who are flexible in their teaching structure and encourage children to think independently have students who are enthusiastic learners.
- Look who's talking? Notice if your child's teacher is conversing with the children, rather than just telling them what to do or not to do. Also, watch to see if the teacher plays games with the children that encourage them to learn.
- Talk about discipline style. Discuss with your child's teacher his or her discipline methods. Provide scenarios of misbehavior and ask how the teacher would deal with it. Make a point to visit the center routinely to observe those discipline methods in action.
- Education is an important key for successful teachers. There is a strong link between a teacher's education and a child's social and intellectual growth. A teacher with a master's or bachelor's degree in early-childhood education is better equipped to meet the needs of students. At the very least, parents should look for a center whose direct-care staff has at least an associate's degree in early-childhood education.
- Don't underestimate experience, however. A seasoned teacher with years of experience and less formal education isn't necessarily a drawback. Even if a teacher doesn't have the educational background you would prefer, you may see the experienced teacher's credentials in the faces of her students.
Did you know? Children today are about six inches taller than youngsters were 100 years ago.