The other day, I was talking to another entrepreneur about the importance of quality care and education for our young children. She was frustrated that options she was finding were not meeting her expectations, leaving her to wonder why this issue isn’t more important to moms.
We had a great discussion about it, and having been in the early care and education industry for 16 years, I gave her some pointers on what to look for and some facts about child development.
80% of a child’s brain development occurs in the first three years of life.
This means that what your child’s caregiver does or doesn’t do MATTERS! The first few years will pave the way for your child’s entire life! It’s not always possible to be home, and it’s okay to ask for help, but pay close attention to the care your child is receiving. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to have a responsive and respectful caregiver that will meet your child’s needs in a timely manner.
How to find a quality childcare center
Licensed Childcare Centers
Licensed childcare centers operate under minimal requirements by the state, such as square footage ratios and making sure the children are not neglected or abused. Some states have more regulations than others. A licensed facility does not ensure that your child is getting a high quality experience. Although the childcare you choose should be licensed, don’t use this as your only indicator of quality.
What to look for in childcare centers?
- Make sure they are licensed. This can be done by going to the Department of Health and Human Services website and looking up the place you are considering.
- Check for any infractions such as a child left unattended. During state checkins, a record may be kept and made public if the daycare has failed to meet any requirements at any time, and may be found on the DHHS website.
- Check to see if facility is accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This is a mark of quality for an early childhood center.
- Check their star rating. This is another mark of quality in early childhood facilities. Many states are implementing a star rating system, similar to how hotels are rated with a 1-5 star possible rating. I would consider a facility with a 3-5 star rating. I would avoid a center with under a 3 star rating.
Would you like to learn more about finding quality care and education for your kiddo? If so, request to join my Facebook group, Soulful Connections For Busy Moms to learn more.