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Since children’s needs are dictated by their ages and stages of development, it would be helpful to know the child’s age. The definition of nurturing differs depending on children’s age and developmental stage. Choosing quality childcare is one of the most important life changing decision for parents. It is a decision that requires an investment of time conducting interviews (to include caregivers, checking references, and conducting site visits), careful evaluation of the providers’ qualifications (to include training and experience), and a significant financial investment. The assumption is that consideration to rate and hours of operations have already been address and it is now time to make a comparison. Next on the list is this question – How does one evaluate the value of one provider’s services over another? The short answer is the provider’s training, early childhood education, and experience.
It is difficult to discuss a provider’s qualification without address the issue of quality childcare. Quality childcare begins with a program that is operating within regulatory guidance such as licensing or County permit with standards and compliance checklists. Since these checklist are based on children’s developmental needs, childcare industry research best practices and standards. As a parent, these are the tools I would use to measure qualification and quality services. The Virginia Department of Social Services has on this link
http://www.dss.virginia.gov/cc/parents/index.html?pageID=2 to address the question of a publication on Why quality childcare matters? Additionally, at www, mjchildcare.com under the section Families there is a resource listing to help families in search of childcare. Also, here are a few areas in which you can objectively discern if this favored provider is knowledge and skilled at nurturing young children:
Provider relationship and interaction with the children
– How does the provider respond to the children?
– Does she guide the children?
– How does she enforce limits and boundaries?
Home Setting both indoors and outdoors
– Is the home set up to ensure children’s health and safety?
– Is there sufficient space with a variety of age appropriate play equipment to comfortably needs of enrolled children?
Learning Opportunities: Program/Daily Schedule
– Is there a daily schedule/routine?
– Are self help skills supported and encourage?
– Do you see provider cuddling, engaging in conversation, and interacting with the children?
– Does the provider offer opportunity to support children’s developments in key developmental domains to include: literacy, science, math, social and emotional, critical thinking, physical and fine motor skills?
– The chosen provider should be sensitive to you needs as a parent jus as much as the needs of your child. How is her persona and temperament? Is she welcoming, friendly, energetic and flexible?
Remember, there is no perfect program; the childcare search takes time. However, through observation and involvement, the selection process in the end will ultimately generate the desired result that is the right place for you and your child.
Happy Parenting with wishes for much success!
Early Childhood Educator
Jackson Child Care