Being completely comfortable with your child care provider/s is extremely important; it's you and your provider raising your child/ren. Ask questions, be informed and stay involved!
Ratio: Ratio is the number of children to adults. You want your child/ren to get plenty of attention, so the lower the ratio the better. Infants need an adult to child ratio of no more than 1:5 (one adult for five infants), while pre-school aged children can do well with a ratio of 1:12 (one adult for 12 children).
Group Size: While group size and ratio can sound similiar, they are different. Ratio is the number of children to adults, group size is the maximum number of children that can be in a classroom. Find out how many children are in the group. The smaller the group, the better.
Caregiver Education/Qualifications: Ask your caregiver what education and training they have. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to help your child learn.
Turnover: Check how long the caregiver/s have been at the center or providing care in their homes. It's best if children stay with the same caregiver at least a year. Caregivers who come and go make it hard on your child. Getting used to new caregivers takes time and energy that could be spent learning new things.
Accreditation: Ask your provider if they are currently going through an accreditation process, or if they are currently nationally accrediated. Typically, these providers have gone through the accrediation process because bringing quality care to your chidlren is important to them. Providers that are accredited have voluntarily met standards for child care that are higher than most state licensing requirements. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) are the two largest organizations that accredit child care programs. Ask our referral specialists for more information or for providers who are/have been accrediated.
Family Involvement: Being involved is important. Don't be afraid to ask how you can be included and to ask about your child's day. By developing a relationship with the center/home you are taking a leading part in your childs early learning experiences.