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Childcare/babysitters – Choosing and Using Child Care

Posted in Child Care on 7th January 2011

Childcare/babysitters – Choosing and Using Child Care

Child care is more than a service that allows parents to work. It is a world that is bound to affect a child’s development in many ways – physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, finding quality child care that is affordable can be challenging. Many parents need inexpensive or cost-free day care where they know their children are safe and are being helped to grow and develop. Parents can now contact their local social service agency (listed in the phone book) for information about government-sponsored programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start and other community programs.

The National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIC) also recommends taking the following steps to choosing quality child care.

Steps to Choosing Quality Child Care:

• Look. Visit several child care homes or centers. Visit the home or center more than once and stay as long as possible so you can get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. Continue to visit even after you start using the home or center.

• Listen. Make sure the place is cheerful and not too quiet, which can mean not enough activity. Happy-sounding children mean they are involved and busy.

• Count. Count the number of children in the group and the number of staff members caring for them. The fewer the number of children for each staff member, the more attention your child will get.

• Ask. Adults who care for children need knowledge and experience. Ask about the background and experience of all staff that will have contact with your child in the home or center.

• Be Informed. Find out more about efforts in your community to improve the quality of child care. Ask if the home or center is involved in these activities. Consider getting involved you.