Choosing Childcare

Age grouping
Most day care centers group children according to age for developmental purposes. Generally, infants from six weeks through one year and from one year through seventeen months are in a single room, which is partitioned to allow the toddlers a play area away from cribs.
Checking references
Before hiring a caregiver, be sure to ask for a list of references, both personal and professional. When questioning personal references, it's a good idea to discuss the candidate's honesty, consistency, and personal habits.
Child to staff ratios
The number of children a care giver supervises can directly affect the quality of your child's care. For this reason, every state mandates staff-to-child ratios.
Childcare agencies
Child care agencies can alleviate some of the stress in choosing a caregiver for your child. Depending on the type of care you're most interested in, you select an agency specializing in locating an au pair (oh-pare), nanny, or household assistant.
Childcare qualifications
Selecting care for your child is one of the most important decisions you'll make. For times when you can't be with your child, you'll want a protective, nurturing person in a stimulating environment.
Health history and immunization for childcare providers
A qualified childcare provider should be extremely cautious regarding communicable diseases. Immunizations for tuberculosis, also known as T-B shots, as well as regular screenings for hepatitis are common practice.
Important questions to ask
Often, discovering relevant information is a matter of asking the right questions. When choosing daily care for your child, there are several questions you'll want to include in the interviews.
Initial screening
Before you decide whether you'll employ a nanny, an au pair (oh-pare), daycare center, or family daycare provider, assess your child's stage of development and personality.
Interviewing caregivers
Interviewing caregivers involves asking the right questions and carefully evaluating the answers given. You'll want to cultivate a close relationship with the person who'll greatly influence your child's thoughts, feelings, and opinions, but you shouldn't initiate this closeness until you've hired the caregiver.
Nap procedures
For many children, a mid-day rest is crucial to proper growth. Timed properly, this naptime allows their bodies to devote energy to digestion, so maximum nutrition can be extracted from their meals.
Outside time
Most children enjoy spending time outdoors, where they can give free rein to feet itching to run and exercise their vocal cords with 'outside voices.' Many states have laws requiring daycare centers to include daily outdoor time for all children, weather and the child's health permitting.
Scheduled activities
Daycare centers and home care facilities are required to provide activities suited to the developmental needs of the children in their care. State laws often require caregivers to provide daily indoor and outdoor times, when weather permits.

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