We know “quality” child care is important, but what does it look like?
First of all, the effects of high and poor quality child care can have a life-long impact on children. It’s essential that the care children receive during the first few years of life, when their brains are developing the most, is nurturing and centered around the skills and tools they need to develop most.
Not all child care is alike. Look for these characteristics of programs that tend to be of higher quality:
- Low adult-to-child ratios
- Developmentally appropriate activities
- Well-educated, consistent, responsive and attentive care givers
- Individualized instruction
- A child-centered philosophy and curriculum that prepares children for life-long learning
- Active learning and social-emotional development are equally important
- The program is licensed and accredited through state quality recognition programs, such as Georgia’s Quality Rated program.
- A creative and stimulating learning and play environment
- Parent involvement is encouraged
While visiting, observe the children. Children in high quality programs are more likely to:
- Be happier overall
- Have better language and communication skills
- Be more engaged in the activities happening
- Be less aggressive and more willing to share