Choosing Childcare

As a parent, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is choosing the right caregiver. You want your child to be in a healthy safe environment with plenty of stimulation and emotional support. Here are some of the most important questions you need to answer before allowing someone else to watch over your child.

Caregivers

  • Are the childcare providers trained in child development and early education?
  • Do they have any accreditation?
  • Are there a sufficient number of trained adults present?
  • Is the caregiver warm and caring with the children?
  • Are you satisfied with the way the caregiver responds to a hurt or unhappy child?
  • Is there time for caregivers to give individual attention to each child?
  • Do you feel satisfied with the way toilet training, diapering and discipline are handled in this setting?
  • Have the caregivers been with the center long enough to create a stable environment for your child?

Environment

  • Do the children appear to be happy?
  • Is the facility bright, clean and cheerful with well-maintained, safe equipment?
  • Are toys in good condition and washed frequently?
  • Are there adequate changing and hand washing areas?
  • Is there sleeping space with individual beds, cots or mats?
  • Are you comfortable with the type of food served?
  • Would you want to come here if you were a child?
  • Do you think your child will fit in comfortably with the other children?

Policies

  • Are children cared for in small groups and given activities according to their level of development?
  • Does the daily schedule include active and quiet play, rest time and outdoor activities?
  • Are the children allowed time and space for individual play?
  • Do the children have a choice about participating in certain activities?
  • What happens if the child cannot be picked up on time?
  • Do concerns arise over the distance involved in getting to the child in an emergency?
  • Can you stop by and check on your child any time during the day?
  • Who has access to your child and why?
  • Will there be continuity and stability in the child’s life as they transition back and forth from home to a caregiver?

– From the American Academy of Pediatrics and Quality Care For Children

What is NAEYC accreditation?

Schools and childcare centers that have successfully been reviewed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) are awarded accreditation, which is valid for five years. There are 219 accredited centers in Georgia. To obtain a list of accredited centers in the metro Atlanta area, visit www.naeyc.org.