Leading Educator Provides Tips for Navigating Changing Childcare Services

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As parents face increasingly tough decisions about childcare options, educator Mandy Cole provides tips for making best-informed choices.

According to a recent Huffington Post article, the face of childcare services is changing nearly as rapidly as technology itself. More and more childcare facilities have begun implementing digital technology to stay in touch with parents and provide them with vital information. However, the quickly-changing world of professional childcare is leaving some parents overwhelmed by the many options available to them. According to educator Mandy Cole, it is more important than ever for parents to think critically about their childcare options.

Cole, who serves as curriculum supervisor at West Tennessee’s New Horizons Childcare, says parents must be disciplined in researching childcare services, weighing pros and cons and ultimately making the best decision for their children. Cole offers five basic pointers for parents just beginning the childcare search.


Cole says childcare options provide many of factors to consider, enough that parents might end up feeling daunted. However, knowing a few specific things to look for can go a long way toward making the process more focused and effective.

1. Pay attention to how the staff interacts with the children: Notice if any staffers are on the floor playing with kids, and make sure they come across as warm and compassionate.

2. Make sure there is some level of commitment: If looking at in-home childcare, for example, ask the caregiver to pledge at least a yearlong commitment.

3. Inquire about parenting policies: See that the childcare service’s views on discipline, feedings, TV watching, and more are in line with your own parental views.

4. Pay attention to the facilities themselves: Look to see that they are clean and that they are appropriately childproofed.

5. Enforce communication: See to it that you can communicate clearly with the provider, both at drop-off and at pickup.

Cole continues to say that parents generally have a good gut feeling about a given childcare facility, and that while research is vital, that gut feeling should not be discounted.


Mandy Cole is an educator and curriculum developer for the Memphis-based New Horizons Childcare.


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Micheal McGarity
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