Over the past 25 years, there have been a number of research studies done on child development. One thing that has been consistent is the effects of quality early childhood experiences. Study after study has highlighted the importance of early quality care and it’s affects on a child’s health, development, and education.
What we know for sure:
- Early experiences and education shape the brain
- 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before the age of 5
- Children who are in high-quality child care display better cognitive and language development, school readiness, and early school achievement
- Children who receive high-quality care are more likely to graduate from High School, go to college, and be prepared to enter workforce
Because quality child care is so important, we recommend that families spend time researching the right environment for their child. After all, choosing child care may be one of the most important decisions that you will ever make.
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Five Steps to Selecting Quality Care for Your Child
Step 1: Start Early
- Start sooner than you think you need to. It takes a considerable amount of time to research your options, make comparisons, and visit potential providers.
Step 2: Make the Calls
- Call 1-877-ALL-GA-KIDS (1-877-255-4254) to get a list of providers that match your specific needs. Our child care experts can help you identify possible providers based on the location of your work or home, budget, and more.
- After you have created a list of possible providers, call each one to check details such as availability, hours, fees, etc.
Step 3: Download our Child Care Check List
- Before visiting possible child care providers download this child care checklist and observe the quality indicators included on the list. Click here
Step 4: Visit, Ask and Observe
- Visiting each location gives you an opportunity to make important observations and ask questions.
Possible question might include:
1. How many children are with each adult? See the child care checklist for ratios.
2. What are the training and education requirements for staff?
3. Are general emergency procedures in place in the event of inclement weather? If so, what are they?
4. How many staff has been employed with the provider?
5. What is the policy for sick children and emergencies?
6. What are the policies for field trips and transportation?
7. Is the provider nationally accredited? See Checklist for examples
8. Is the provider Quality Rated? If not, why? Click here to learn more about Quality Rated. (link to our QR page)
Step 5: Make Your Choice
Review all of the information you have collected, evaluate your choices and make the selection best for your family.
Once your child is enrolled with the provider of your choice, remember to be available to communicate with staff about your child on a regular basis. Make time to visit your child while they are in their learning environment or ask about other volunteer opportunities. Your child is more opt to be engaged in learning when they see that you have taken an interest in their education. Also, have daily conversations with your child about their experiences. No matter how old (or young) your child is, children benefit most when their primary caregiver takes a positive interest in them.