Fitting Child Care Into Your Childs Life

By: Luca Jenkin

Modern American society is built on the concept of a two-income household. However, single parents also comprise a high percentage of our households. This means there are large numbers of parents in the workforce so childcare has become an important concern for many. A parent wants the best possible care for their child. As there is great variation in the quality of care offered by daycare centers, how does a parent or guardian determine which childcare facility is sufficiently skilled to care for their child?

It takes time and effort to find the right care for your child, but it will be worth it. Decide at the outset, that you will not give in to the pressure for a quick decision. Your child needs you to make wise choices for him. Take time to look at each alternative from your own perspective and don’t presume they are all the same therefore the one your friend or colleague takes her child to will work for your family. Preschool, day care centers, care in another’s home or care in your own home are among your choices. Using a state licensed care provider will give a minimum standard of health and safety protection.

Getting a list of reputable child care providers is your first action. This can be from a local non profit organization, or you will find them listed in the phone book or internet. Letting your fingers do the walking, followed by a telephone conversation is not sufficient for success: you must make time to visit the facility and talk to those who will provide the care – get the ‘feel’ of the place! And ask lots of questions.

A big indication that a daycare center is child oriented rather than profit oriented is to ask the adult staff to child ratio. This ratio should be different for each age group and the recommended ratios are as follows: 1:4 for babies; 1:6 for under 3s; 1:10 for the 3-5 age group. (Check your States laws as they can vary.) Think about the effect these ratios will have on your child’s individual need for attention and socialization. Just imagine how much chaos could result if your 3-year-old was one of 30 with only three adults in the room!

The care-giver should happily supply evidence of her background, training and experience, along with any licenses, accreditation or additional training undertaken. As well as State licensing, there are various national bodies offering accreditations indicating quality and safety measures are in place and open to inspection. Always take a note of and follow up any references offered.

The faithfulness of a parent’s love and care for a child is a big, big part of his security. If you cannot be home with him, then do not be afraid to allow him to attach himself to someone you trust. He will not love you any less for it, but will be strengthened by the secure environment you are creating for him. A secure, consistent environment is one of the biggest gifts you can give your child; therefore do not accept a care center with a high turnover of staff.

Here are a few other factors to think about: is the care giver positive, warm and understanding towards the children; will your child get individual attention and comfort when needed; can you drop in at any time; is it on the way to work or will you have to budget extra for travel costs; is it’s reputation solid – no habit of breaking rules or list of complaints against it.

These are only some things to look for. There are many useful internet sites from government to child safety sites that will give you more information should you need it. Try I wish you the peace that comes with finding the best care for your child. May God bless you in your search.

Parenting
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