Nonprofit Encourages Parents to Choose the Best Child Care for their Family

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Child Care Resource Center promotes Keys to Quality Child Care Checklist.

Over the past 20 years, a steadily growing number of families have found the need for child care provided by someone other than a parent. Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) would like to share some information with parents and the community regarding issues to keep in mind when looking for the right environment for your child.

Research has shown that the early years (ages 0-5) are the most important for brain development with over 90% of brain growth occurring during this period. When your child is in a safe, loving, and stimulating child care environment that you can count on, you don’t have to worry while you are at work. You know that your child is getting the kind of care children need to be healthy, happy, and successful. Choosing a high-quality child care program for your child takes time and patience.

So, how do you choose the best child care for your family?

1. Call your local child care Resource & Referral agency for a free list of licensed in home family child care providers and centers. Check out childcareaware.org to find an agency near you.

2. Review staff qualifications. What type of education and experience does each of the staff have? Have all adults been cleared by Trustline? Ask to see a copy of the facility's license.

3. Discuss supervision and discipline with prospective providers. How many caregivers work in the environment? Is the adult to child ratio appropriate (ask your Resource & Referral specialist about your state's regulation)?

4. Ask to see a schedule of daily activities. Is there time for inside and outside play, music, reading, games, and dramatic play? Are there specific age appropriate areas for different kinds of learning?

5. Conduct your own health and safety inspection. Is there an emergency plan in place and is the exit plan displayed?

6. Evaluate the caregiver's communication style. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask for a copy of the program's policies and procedures handbook.

For a more comprehensive list of what to look for when searching for child care, visit http://www.ccrcla.org to print a Keys to Quality Child Care checklist or contact us to speak with a child development specialist at 1-866-67-4KIDS.

About CCRC:
For 37 years, the Child Care Resource Center has been committed to serving children and families in Northern Los Angeles County and environs. CCRC promotes optimal child development and family well-being through access to quality child care, family support, economic development, and community education.

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Susan Montalvo
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