According to the National Child Care Association Resource and Referral Agency, the first three years of a child’s life are a critical time of growth and development. High-quality care is extremely important for babies and toddlers, and increasing numbers of children are cared for by someone other than their parent. Early environments make a difference, and nurturing relationships are important for all children.
In the Book, Infants and Children, Laura E. Berk described eight signs of a quality Infant and Toddler childcare program and they are as follows:
1. Physical Environment. The setting does not appear to be crowded when children are available; the environment is clean, in good repair and well ventilated. Also, there is a fenced outdoor play area for infant-toddlers.
2. Materials Available. The toys are appropriate for infant-toddlers and are within reach of the children. Equipment includes; cribs, high chairs, infant seats, child sized tables and chairs are available. You will find small riding toys, slides and a sandbox on the playground.
3. Low Teacher-to-Child Ratios. There is a low teacher-to-child ratio including: (Child Care Center) 1 to 3 for infants and 1 to 6 for toddlers. (Home Daycare) if the provider cares for infant-toddlers, there are no more than 6 children with no more than 2 infant-toddlers.
4. Daily Routine. The atmosphere is warm, supportive and children are never left unattended. The daily Schedule includes active/quiet play, naps, snacks, meals and meets the individual needs of the children in care.
5. Child Adult Interactions. Caregivers respond promptly to the needs of the children and you will see caregivers: holding, singing, talking to, reading to and interacting with infants-toddlers.
6. Training. The caregiver has training in child development and is CPR and first aid certified.
7. Parent Connections. Caregivers talk with parents about children’s daily routine and invite parents to visit at any time.
8.Licensing and Accreditation. The program is licensed by the state and is Accredited.
If your program meets all of the above quality indicators above, CONGRATULATIONS! If not, don’t worry, if you create a plan to implement all of the above tips, you will be on your way to having a quality infant-toddler program.
When I was in my home daycare, it took approximately 12-months to create a quality program. After I made the necessary changes and received NAFCC Accreditation, I saw the difference in the quality of my program. Most of all, the parents noticed the improvements to.
Does your childcare Business meet any or all of the above quality care indicators? If so, please share your thoughts?
With Young Children in Mind,