Quality Counts: Choosing Early Care & Education Programs
Choosing child care is such a big decision it can often feel overwhelming. Your child needs a safe environment which promotes her growth and development. You need a program which supports your family values, encourages your child’s growth, and is safe, affordable, and convenient. But, how do you begin to narrow down which provider is the best fit for you and your family?
North Carolina Childcare Resources, Inc offers the Quality Counts resource brochure that provides an overview of what families should look for when searching for quality child care. Quality Counts presents the range of available early care and education program options, North Carolina’s child care licensing standards, information concerning your responsibilities as a parent or guardian and checklists of quality indicators to use when interviewing and visiting programs. Download the brochure at our website: www.childcareresourcesinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Quality-Checklist-2016-Final.pdf
Look for These Quality Indicators When You Visit Child Care Programs:
- 1) HANDWASHING & DIAPERING
- Look for the providers to be washing their hands after each diaper change, as well as washing the children’s hands
- Children should be instructed to wash their hands before each meal time
- 2) ILLNESSES
- What is the program’s sick child exclusion policy?
- How will you be notified about outbreaks of communicable diseases?
- 3) TOYS
- Are the toys in good condition and washed frequently?
- Are toys switched out regularly?
- 4) MEALS
- Are menus posted prior to each meal service for parents?
- Do children have the opportunity to request seconds?
- 5) PARENT INVOLVEMENT
- What opportunities do you have to participate in activities?
- Are you welcome to visit your child at any time?
- 6) TEACHER/PROVIDER
- Staff turnover should be low with the same provider remaining with the child/class for most of the year
- Provider talks to your child at eye-level and responds positively to hurt or unhappy children
- 7) INSIDE AND OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT
- Do you see any hazardous areas (uncovered outlets, chipping paint, dangling cords)?
- Is the outdoor play area free of hazards such as glass, poison ivy, etc.?