As this new study was just released, parents are scrambling to see where their child care provider ranks. The key to child care provider, says Parenting Experts and Author, Dr. Michele Borba, is interaction! Is your child care provider getting involved in your child’s activities or are they just being a babysitter? Watch video.
The federally funded study, which has been tracking more than 1,300 children since 1991, found that obedience and academic problems among those who received low-quality care in their first 4 1/2 years of life persisted through their 15th birthdays, suggesting the potential for lifelong difficulties.
These results underscore the importance of interaction between children and their daytime caregivers according to experts.
Reference Washington Post.
Michele Borba lists Ten Key Questions to Ask Day Care Providers.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and the staff in making your final decision according to Parenting Expert, Michele Borba:
1. Does this seem like a place my child would like to be? Use your instinct on this one. Can you see your child fitting in and being comfortable in this environment? Are the children enjoying themselves? Do they appear to be happy and active? Is there a variety of activities that are age-appropriate for the children? You know your child better than anyone, so rely on your instincts.
2. Are there rich, interactive language experiences? Watch the staff interaction with the children closely. Are they talking with the children? Are the children communicating with the staff? Are there rich language experiences and if so are they “hands-on” (not just paper and pencil)? For instance, is the staff reading, speaking, listening to the children? Are there outings, art, dress up, and play type of activities in which children can communicate with peers? Is there a television and if so, is it being used as a “baby sitter”?
3. Is the staff knowledgeable about child development? Ask the staff what their philosophy about early childhood education is (don’t worry if you don’t know their answer – make sure they have one). Ask how the staff is trained in child development and how frequently? How many of the staff are credentialed in early childhood education? How do they stay current on the latest child development research (such as this study)? What is the educational background and credentials of the supervisor?
4. What is the daily schedule? There should be a consistent daily structure where children know what is expected. Is there a balance between physical activities and quieter ones? Watch the children. Are they doing the kinds of activities your child would enjoy doing? There must be rich language experiences and activities that stimulate cognitive growth to reap those gains. Make sure children are actively engaged in creative play, interacting with adults, and are not just sitting and doing paper and pencil tasks. Make sure the television is not used as a baby sitter! Then visualize your child in this setting: Is this a good match for your child’s needs, temperament and abilities?
5. What is the ratio between staff and children? It’s always best to have a smaller number of staff to children. You want to make sure your child is being closely watched. You also want to make sure there is positive interaction (face-to-face!!) between that caregiver and your child.
For the next 5 questions, click here.
Be sure to pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, by Dr. Michele Borba. There isn’t one parenting question or concern that goes unanswered. To view a sneak peek inside this book, please read my series of BBPS (Big Book of Parenting Solutions). Parenting 101 from ungrateful children, to gifted children to sibling rivalry to talking sex with your kids today, there isn’t a topic that isn’t covered. Does your child lie? Find out why!
Take the time to be an educated parent, you will have smarter and healthier teens! Read more.