Inspirational and Empowering Child Care Business Owners To Build Successful Child Care Businesses

Posts tagged ‘infant/toddler care’

5 Steps to Providing High Quality & Safe Infant/Toddler Care

As I prepared the Module 6 and Week 28 eCourse Lesson for the member of the Family Home Child Care Empowerment Club, I was inspired to share some of the tips with you!

The topic of week 28 eCourse Lesson was: How to provide a healthy & Safe environment for infant/toddlers. The tips were provided in the form of a health & safety checklist, because I believe that the best way to improve your childcare program is through self assessment.

Today I am going to share 5 steps to Providing High Quality & Safe Infant/Toddler Care:

1. Maintain Ratio. Be sure that there is no more than  four infant/toddlers to a care giver. It can be quite demanding for one caregiver to care for too many infant/toddlers. Moreover, infant/toddlers need lots of loving care and it is almost impossible for one caregiver to meet the needs of more than  four infant/toddlers at any given time. ** In some cases, it is recommended that the ratios are 1-t0-3.

2. Be Alert of the Health/Safety Needs of the Children. For example: It is important that you or your staff know who feels well and who does not. Are the children adequately supervised? Know where the adventurous toddlers are, at all times,etc. Being aware of the health & safety needs of the children is a vital part of providing quality infant/toddler care.

3. Smoke Free Home or Center. You can almost assume that caregivers will be considerate and not smoke around children, however, it is very important that parents know that you have a smoke free facility!

I suggest that you post a SMOKE FREE ZONE sign. Cigarette smoke is very toxic to a child. Moreover, if you have smokers on staff, it is also a good idea to require that they wash their hands after smoking. Furthermore, if  your staff member(s) smell like smoke after a break; require that they change their clothes, before handling the infants/toddlers.

Home Providers: Require that family members smoke outdoors during the hours of childcare.

4. Post the number to Poison Control. You may have already removed all medications and cleaning supplies out of the reach of the children. However, what if a parent fails to tell you that there is medication in a diaper bag and a toddler gets a hold of it?  That’s right…you will need to call Poison control right away!

So be sure to post your local poison control number near your phone. Here is the national number to poison control: 1-800-222-1222. ***Moreover, check diaper bags daily for medication,etc.

5. Small Toys Can Be a Choking Hazard!! If a small toy can fit through the opening of a toilet tissue tube, than it is a choking hazard for an infant/toddler. Be sure that toys that are 1  1/2 inches in diameter are kept out of the reach of young children (preferably under the age of 3).

Infant/toddler learn about their world by putting things in their mouth and this is why you must be mindful of the toys that are within the reach of infant/toddlers.

In summary, I hope that you have found this blog post to be helpful to you. Most importantly, My hope is that you create a High Quality and Safe place for infant/toddlers.

For more information about how to build a high quality family home childcare business (click here) or a Child Care Center (click here).

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With Quality Infant/Toddler Care in Mind,


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How Caregivers Can Encourage Speech and Language Development

Figure 1 Image source:

Guest Post by Jacky GilChrist

Child care providers are among a child’s first teachers. Children learn speech and language through everyday activities, interacting with their peers and adults, and listening to others speak. Observe how the children under your care interact, speak, and play. Compare the toddler’s development to that of his peer group and notify the parents if he might have a speech and language delay.

Figure 2 Image source:

What to Expect: Milestones

Every child develops at a different rate, but there are a few typical milestones for speech and language development. Alert the parents if a toddler between 12 to 18 months fails to look at a person who is speaking to him, speaks less than eight words, and cannot point to objects in a book upon request. Alert the parents if a child between 18 to 24 months cannot speak two to three word sentences, has a vocabulary of less than several hundred words, and does not sing familiar songs.

As toddlers grow, you will notice that they enjoy asking questions, repeating words and sounds, and singing favorite songs. They should also speak in short, simple, complete sentences and be able to construct simple stories about pictures in a book. While every child develops differently, it’s always best to be cautious instead of adopting the “wait and see” approach. Inform the parents that you’ve noticed that Melissa is unusually quiet for a child her age, for example, and may benefit from an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP), also called a speech therapist.

Figure 3 Image source:

Create a Stimulating Environment

Create a stimulating environment for the children under your care to encourage speech and language development. This is vital for all children, whether they are developing at a typical rate or not. Fill your daycare center with engaging picture books, music for sing-alongs, and plenty of games that encourage verbal interactions. Dolls can be particularly helpful for encouraging speech because the child can have the dolls interact with each other and “talk” to each other. Encourage dramatic play with dress-up games. Encourage children to build their narration skills by having them look at pictures in a book and creating their own stories about them.

Maintain constant conversations with the children. Narrate their activities as well as your own to stimulate speech. For example, say, “Now we’re lining up to go potty. Melissa is first and Kara is next. What do we do after we finish going potty? We wash our hands!” Avoid correcting a child’s speech; instead, model correct patterns of speech. Read the following sample dialogue for an example.

Caregiver: Good morning, Melissa! Would you like to read a story today?

Melissa: Me do. Tree bears.

Caregiver: You like the story about the three bears, don’t you. Is the story about the three bears your favorite story?

Melissa: Punny bears.

Caregiver: They are. Those three bears are very funny. What kind of funny things do the three bears do?

Notice how the caregiver expands on Melissa’s speech and repeats the phrase “three bears” to help reinforce proper articulation. By providing more opportunities for verbal interactions, daycare providers can help encourage the speech and language development of children under their care.

About the Guest Blogger

Jacky Gilchrist specializes in writing about health, fitness, and medical topics. She writes a blog for Speech Buddies, a company that offers speech therapy products to parents and speech therapists, as well as a health and fitness blog for Dr. Stephen Gullo, a renowned weight loss expert.

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