Child Care: What to Look For
When you place your child in the care of someone else, be it family child care, a center, a relative or friend, the key to your peace of mind is trust. The more you trust the caregiver, the more secure you will feel. Here are some questions to ask:
Does the caregiver...
- Have child-rearing attitudes similar to yours?
- Have training to understand what children can and want to do at different stages of growth?
- Spend time holding, playing with, and talking to your baby?
- Have enough time to look after all the children in care?
- Welcome visits from parents at any time?
Does the home or center have...
- A license?
- Only a few children? (Remember, infants do better in small groups.)
- Have a clean and comfortable look?
- Equipment that is safe and in good repair?
- Nutritious meals and snacks?
Are there chances for children...
- To be held, cuddled, rocked, smiled at, and talked to?
- To relax and rest when they need to?
- To crawl and explore safely?
- To play with objects that develop their senses of touch, sight and hearing, such as mobiles, mirrors, rattles, things to squeeze and roll, pots and pans, or soft toys?
- To learn language through the caregiver talking to the child, naming things, describing what he or she is doing, and responding to the child's actions?
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