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Our modern world is a fast-paced blur, and more and more parents are forced to work full time jobs, leaving their child in need of care. From infancy to around five years, children are in his/her most critical developmental stage. A young child needs a proper foundation of care, and one of the most important factors in a child’s life is the type of care given during these crucial stages of development. Research on child care effects reveal that the importance of quality child care is one of the most significant findings in developmental psychology. Through these numerous research projects on child care, it has been discovered that quality centers looks toward children as individuals, and are sensitive to the holistic development of each child. If not given the holistic approach to social, emotional, and physical well-being, a child will not be fully developed and may have problems later in life.
What is Quality?
If you’re looking for a quality daycare center, you’ll need to know what quality looks like. You should look at factors that attend to individual care and focus on aspects of child development. For example, you’ll need to consider teacher-to-child ratio, the kind of activities used for cognitive development, and the teacher’s attitude toward children. Below is a ‘checklist’ of what quality child care should look like:
A good care center would make routine hygiene checks, as well as make use of cleaning products that are not harmful to children. When visiting a child care center, make sure you are observant of the kind of sanitation that is implemented.
Questions to Ask Yourself: What smells do you observe? Is there a visible build-up of dirt/grime? What sort of food is being prepared, and how well prepared is it?
Ensuring a child’s safety is important for any day care center, as children are prone to accidentally hurting themselves. Looking at the kinds of toys used, the type of flooring, and the caretaker supervision are important.
Questions to Ask Yourself: How do the teachers behave around the children? Are they supervising them during play? What kinds of outdoor toys are being used? Are the floors soft enough to avoid any serious injury if a child falls?
Qualified and well -trained experts are a must, and considering child-to-teacher ratio is important. A classroom with a low child-to-teacher ratio allows for more time and proper interaction for each child, as more individualized attention to is essential. For example, it will ensure that all aspects of holistic development are attended to, as well as provides opportunity to address any weak areas or notice any problems that might go under the radar in a large classroom.
Questions to Ask Yourself: How many children are there? How many teachers are on duty at a time, and how does their teaching system work? How many years of experience do they have, and what qualifications do they have?
Learning Through Play
The importance of learning through play is widely known, as this is the way that children learn during early development years. Looking for classroom activities that involve all the developmental stages of growth is important.
Questions to Ask Yourself: Are there toys? Are there outdoor areas that encourage physical play? Do they foster creativity? Is there variety in activity?
Method of Teaching
It is important to look at the way in which activities are carried out. Does the daycare foster a child’s curiosity, where the teacher is more of a guide and supervisor rather than a ‘dictator’. Children need to take time to learn things on their own, so be sure to inquire how the activities are carried out, and what methods of teaching takes place.
Questions to Ask Yourself: Does the teacher have a good balance between being a facilitator and a disciplinarian? How does he/she teach? Is the teacher good at behavioral management? What sort of values/beliefs does the teacher have that might influence your child? Is the teacher genuinely passionate about children?
Proactive Approaches to Child Care
A good child care center makes a constant effort for improvement. What steps are being taken to ensure that the care center is up to standard? This applies to all areas, whether it is hygiene or teaching methods.
Questions to Ask Yourself: Are they implementing routine child care training or teacher performance checks? Do they have regular health consultant visits? What measures are they taking to ensure their programs are up to date and efficient?
When visiting a child care center, don’t be afraid to ask questions and properly explore the care center. If you see any parents of children that attend the care center, why not ask them as well! The more you know, the better informed your decision will be. Cost and convenience are often influencing factors when choosing a care center, but remember that the end goal must not be lost. A proper foundation for your child is priceless, as there are many benefits of quality daycare centers. If you’re looking for a child care center that fosters the above, contact Stone Brook Academy.