Choosing the right child care provider is crucial. It is indeed important to know all the options available for such service. There are four providers that can be considered in your options.
1. Relatives, Neighbors and Friends. This option is usually called “Kith and Kin” in which closer people are chosen to be the care provider for the child, usually takes place in the home of the child or of the care provider. Parents can choose to allot their time by scheduling their work and child care.
People, specifically parents, find this option advantageous because of different reasons. They think that relatives and friends will provide more sincere and secure care for their child. Also, they believe that these people will instill good family values to their child. Constraints like tight schedule and budget, problems on transportation sometimes lead parents to choose this kind of option.
Regulations in this kind of child care differ from state to state. Criminal history screening like child abuse checks, clearances, and minimal safety and health trainings are sometimes required by some. However, many have no strict regulations on this child care option.
2. Family Child Care. Child care provider’s home is the setting for this option. Sometimes, parents seek for referrals from trusted friends before availing of this. Parents find this beneficial for their child because of the environment that is home-like it offers and smaller number of children in it.
Compared to the option earlier described, states are stricter when it comes to regulation. Requirements are necessary like conformation to certain set standards on safety, nutrition and health; trainings before child care and alongside with it; passing certain inspections; and checking of criminal records.
3. Home-based Caregivers. In this child care option, caregivers stay in the home of the child to be taken care of. Examples of caregivers are housekeepers and nannies. Parents having several children find this more practical because one caregiver manage to handle them. They also find this option better because it is more convenient and they have more control on the safety, security, and caring to their child.
Some states apply minimal regulation on this type of child care, especially the placement agencies for home-based caregivers. Some also require subsidies for the caregivers, and also checking of criminal records, securing of clearances, and undergoing safety and health trainings. But most of the states do not pose regulations for this option.
4. Child Care Centers. Centers providing this type of child care cater to a much larger number of children. Parents who choose this kind of care believe that there is a higher level of safety and dependability because of greater state inspections and regulations and the integrity of the center. They also believe that learning will be better facilitated by greater number of staff, equipments, space and organization of activities.
Licensing, which depends on the state, is required to child care centers based on safety and health standards.
When it comes to evaluation of the child care provider your child is into, there are a set of criteria you should consider to gauge its quality. The criteria are listed below.
For general evaluation:
• practices on discipline
• enjoyment of children
• fulfillment of children’s needs for comfort
• license and conformation with regulations
• openness to surprise parent visits
• suitability of your child
For the evaluation of the caregivers:
• interest on caring for the children
• ability to reach out to the child’s level
• quick accommodation of the needs of children
• safety skills like first aid, CPR, and others.
• education and training
• ability to cope with varying interest of children
• openness to questions and readiness to answer such
• reporting of the child’s progress
• openness to parents’ involvement
• acceptable staff-child ratio, whose standard is set by local experts
For the setting evaluation:
• conducive atmosphere
• manageability and safety of area and equipment
• enough space for all the activities
For the evaluation of activities:
• balance of activities
• appropriateness of activities to different age groups
• supply and safety of equipments
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