What is Quality Child Care?
Children begin learning at birth. In fact, 90 percent of your child’s brain develops by age 5. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. You play an important role as your child grows and discovers the world. The quality of care received will help shape who your child becomes as an adult. This is why the quality of child care is critical, as is the person you choose to care for your child.
Finding and choosing quality child care may be one of the most important decisions you make as a parent. Whether your child is being cared for at a child care center or at home by a family member, there are things you can ask for and expect. You need a provider who can fully support your child’s ongoing development. Understanding the benefits of quality child care will help you look for child care providers who are well-trained and have experience working with young children.
To help you make the best choice for you and your child, First 5 LA has created the “5 Steps to Choosing Quality Child Care,” a step-by-step guide to making this important decision. You will learn what is involved in quality child care, so that you can compare all the options available to you. You will also find a list of tools and resources to help you choose what is best for you and your child. Remember to choose quality child care and to stay involved!
Quality child care is care provided for your child by a positive caregiver in a safe and nurturing location. It can take place at a child care center, a caregiver’s home or at a preschool.
The “quality” in child care is based on the open and inspiring interaction and connection between your child and the caregiver. This relationship creates confidence in your child and helps him/her grow and develop learning and emotional skills. Having these skills will help your child do better in school.
A positive caregiver is a person who has an inspiring attitude and tends for your child in a loving and caring way. This person responds to your child’s needs, which will make him/her feel secure, confident, and more excited to explore and learn. You will find out more about this in Step 3.