Choose Child Care
Tools to Help You Find the Right Care for Your Child
Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families will ever make. Finding the right caregiver is often challenging, but we have some tips and tools that can help.
Even though parents are the most important people in their child’s life, the relationship your child has with their caregiver will also affect how they feel about themselves and the world around them. Gather as much information as possible to ensure that the decision you make is a wise one. At stake are your child’s happiness and well-being…and your peace of mind. When you make an important purchase, you shop around, compare quality and prices, ask questions and talk to other people using the product. So when you choose child care, you should take these same steps to ensure quality care for your child.
Look for a warm and attractive atmosphere which is inviting to children, a variety of structured and unstructured activities including outdoor activities, creative activities and quiet activities. Make sure there are opportunities for children to make choices, time and space to be with friends and to be alone, and adults who treat children with warmth and respect and who set clear and fair limits. Most of all, trust your intuition and observations. Below you will find tools to help guide you in your observations.
Steps to Take
- Gather as much information as possible.
- Determine your family’s needs in terms of hours, location, days of year (including holidays and vacations), and transportation.
- Determine what type of child care setting is best for your child.
- Call 4-C for a list of regulated child care in your area; specific to your family’s needs.
- Visit at least three places.
- Then LOOK, LISTEN, and ASK. Look for signs of quality. Listen to the tones of teachers and for sounds of happy children. Ask questions to dig a little deeper.
Good child care requires three important things:
- A well-trained, consistent caregiver.
- A setting that keeps your child safe and healthy.
- An environment that enhances your child’s physical, mental, emotional and social growth.
Think about the kind of child care settings that will best fit the needs of your child. Know the differences between regulated child care and unregulated child care.
This check list will help you know what to look for when searching for quality care for your infant or toddler.
This check list will help you know what to look for when searching for quality care for your preschooler.
School Age Care
This check list will help you know what to look for when searching for quality care for your school age child.