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Tips for Choosing a Quality Child Care Provider

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless." Mother Teresa

Many parents are finding that quality child care facilities usually embody beliefs like the one stated here by Mother Teresa. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a child care provider for your little one:

  • Does the staff have child care "smarts"? Look for a well-trained staff. Numerous studies show that this is probably the most important factor in determining the quality of a child care facility.
  • Is there hands-on learning? Parents should look for a child care facility that provides a wide range of hands-on learning activities. Studies show children learn more when caregivers provide many ways to learn and give children choices in how they can learn.
  • Is the facility's environment structured but flexible? Caregivers who are flexible encourage children to think independently and help them become enthusiastic learners.
  • Look who's talking. Notice if your child's caregiver talks with the children, rather than just telling them what to do or not to do. Also, see whether caregivers play games with the children and read to them as a way of encouraging them to learn.
  • Talk about discipline style. Discuss with the caregivers their discipline methods. Give examples of misbehaviors and ask how caregivers would deal with them. Make a point to visit the facility routinely to observe those discipline methods in action.
  • Don't underestimate experience. A seasoned caregiver with years of experience and less formal education isn't necessarily a drawback. You may see an experienced caregiver's credentials in the happy faces of the children under his or her care.

Did you know? Children today are about six inches taller than youngsters were 100 years ago.