There are thousands of ‘day care centers’ across the country. Statistically speaking, there are probably a few right in your neighborhood. This sounds like good news if you're a parent who needs someone to take care of your children while you go about your day, but not all daycare centers are created equal. There certainly are some quality daycare services out there, but you need to know what to look for. To find high quality child care, here are a few things to look for:
A License and Accreditation
When visiting a quality child care center, one of the first things you should look for is a posted state license. It won't tell you everything you need to know about a child care center, but it does mean that the center is doing the basics to operate in that state. To find the highest quality child care, look for the NAEYC* torch. NAEYC is a voluntary national program that is the “Good Housekeeping seal of approval” for early childhood education. Less than 7% of child care programs reach this level of care! These programs have certified teachers and many standards that they have to meet consistently as well as a curriculum for all children birth to five. For more information visit www.NAEYC.org.
A Good Reputation
A quality child care program in your area will no doubt have a good reputation with other parents, so ask people you know for recommendations. Word of mouth works best when looking for high quality child care.
An Attentive Tenderly Caring for Your Child
Teachers who are trained in providing high quality early learning experiences should be attentive, knowledgeable and professional. When you visit a child care center to determine if it is right for you and your child, pay close attention to the way the staff members interact with the other children. They should be engaging with the children and enjoying what they are doing. In high quality child care centers, there are specific ratios for the number of teachers with children in each classroom which helps to provide a safe, nurturing environment. Observing attentive teachers is important in your search.
Opportunities to Learn and Play
Finally, a high quality child care center should provide your child with plenty of opportunities for children to learn and have fun. There should be plenty of age-appropriate toys and activities to choose from. Building blocks and many other toys strengthen math, science and language skills. They are learning while they are playing. Children should be having fun! Preparing a child for a lifelong love of learning should be part of the center’s mission.
These are just a few things you should be looking for when you look for quality child care services for your child, but they shouldn't be your only criteria. The best way to find the right child care service is to spend some time researching them. Schedule visits and follow your instincts. As long as you pay close attention during your search, you will find the best child care center for you and your children.
For quality child care services in Connecticut or throughout the Pittsburgh area, get in touch with Tender Care Learning Centers today. From infant and toddler care to pre-school and after school programs, Tender Care Learning Centers provide children with a welcoming and safe atmosphere to learn, play and grow as they age. Get in touch with a Tender Care Learning Center in your area today, and give your child the opportunity to grow and learn like never before.