Featured Editorial

10 Ways Parents Know Quality Child Care Programs

 My heart and mind were in a fast and furious race. Overwhelmed at the thought that it was time for my daughter to be entrusted into the care of another person, my professional background as an early childhood educator never fully prepared me for the new mom guilt. Finding the perfect match between parents, children, and child care programs creates a very delicate balance system. Initially we were fortunate enough to have a close family friend provide child care and I paid her more than she offered because- that's my baby! As my daughter's first birthday approached we enrolled in a child care program we were okay with temporarily. Eventually, I began teaching at a lovely preschool program and also enrolled my daughter to attend. Not all parents find such convenience. Research and get to know these top 10 ways parents know quality child care programs.

10 Ways Parents Know Quality Child Care Programs

Nurturing Relationships

Essential to high quality child care programs nurturing, positive child-adult relationships are essential for healthy child development. Creating a caring community environment enables kids to thrive in a setting where they feel secure and valued. Nurturing teachers that engage and interact in open conversations with children, validating the thoughts, accomplishments, and experiences of each child unleash learning potential. During curriculum activities, kids are encouraged to learn, play and work with one another in learning and conflict resolutions. 

Age-Appropriate Curriculum

Incorporating a comprehensive educational curriculum consistent developmental social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive program goals build a strong academic foundation. Structuring the framework for children, teachers, and administrators, the curriculum defines obtainable goals for daily activity schedules, routines, and resource tools for learning and development through exploration and experiences.

Adaptive Teaching

Understanding variations in learning styles, needs, capacities, interests, and backgrounds, teachers implement appropriate teaching methods for each child's learning assessment. Teachers adapt lessons and materials according to the needs and interests of each children for best concept engagement and mastery of the learning process.

Progress Assessment

Progressive formal and informal child assessments serve to provide a portfolio of learning and development with parent-teacher monitoring and feedback. Assessments enable staff to appropriately develop  a comprehensive curriculum responsive to the strengths and weaknesses of each child. Learning assessments benefit the timely identification of developmental disabilities and connection to appropriate educational resources and services.

Healthy Environment

Detailed attention is given to the health and nutritional well-being of children and the protection of children and staff from illness and injury. Quality programs invest and educate in policies and procedures necessary to ensure healthy development and safety, including having proportionate numbers of qualified staff trained in pediatric first aid and CPR.

Skilled Teaching Staff

Maintaining a supportive teaching staff with competitive educational credentials and professional commitment to the child care program is essential to children’s learning and development process. Presenting a diverse teaching staff with current qualifications and skills in early child development/education fosters an enriched learning environment. Teacher participation in professional development and continuing education builds and nurtures quality teaching skills.

Family Support

Strong community relationships with the children's families bridges the connection between optimal learning and development and home. Child care programs that welcome and establish connections with families encourage family involvement through support of the program. Developing a curriculum reflective of the population served incorporates family conferences, orientations, and opportunities for involvement.

Community Relationships

Building a friendly relationship within the surrounding community and utilizing neighborhood resources connects children and their families to local resources valuable to development and learning. Developing mutual professional relationships with community agencies and organizations enrich a child care program working to benefit needs and interests of children and families.

Physical Environment

Providing a well-maintained indoor and outdoor physical space, including the facility, equipment, and resources available to children and staff, fist and foremost, protects the safety of all. Taking pride in an inviting, well-organized, adequately supplied area encourages learning experiences, healthy practices, and overall safety of the children and adults.

Program Administration

Bringing cohesion to the child care program, effective administration is responsible for the implementation of program policies and procedures, staffing and professional development, and financial management. Child care program administrators are licensed and/or regulated by the applicable state agencies, as well as liaisons between families and staff on program policies, curriculum goals, and health and safety procedures.

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