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Choosing quality childcare: the how and why

Activities during family childcare.
Activities during family childcare.
Marilyn Knollman

As a working mom, one of the biggest struggles you'll face is choosing quality childcare. Thankfully though, in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, there are a few resources in place to help make that decision less stressful.

In both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, there's a resource called 4 C for Children. It not only offers information for parents & families, but for childcare professionals and the community and media as well. The information offered ranges from questions to ask when choosing a provider, to choosing between family childcare, in-home, and child care centers to giving a detailed explanation of Ohio and Kentucky's rating programs.

Ohio's voluntary rating program is called Step up to Quality. It's a voluntary program that rates providers on stricter guidelines than the nationally recognized NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), which is a national voluntary rating system. Voluntary members of the Step up to Quality program offer such features as more highly trained teachers and fewer children in the classroom. Being more highly trained means your child will be cared for by someone who is required to complete 10 hours of specialized training each year as well as plan activities according to a state standard. When there are less children in the classroom, the teacher is less distracted and can offer more one-on-one attention to your child.

Kentucky's voluntary program is called Stars for Kids Now. It is also a voluntary program that rates providers on stricter guidelines than NAEYC. Voluntary members of the Stars for Kids Now program also offer such features as more highly trained teachers and fewer children in the classroom, as well as rating the program on parent involvement and personnel practices.

Using 4 C for Children is not the only way to choose quality childcare, but it offers a few more safeguards than striking out on your own and having to wonder if the person caring for your child is trustworthy, well-trained and can pass a background check worthy of you and your child.

Comments

  • Angie 4 years ago

    YAY! Sandy YOU are awesom!

  • Julie 4 years ago

    Excellent article, Sandy!

  • Nancy 4 years ago

    Julie forwarded the article to me. Great article...

  • Laquinta 4 years ago

    Great job Sandy.

  • Nancy 4 years ago

    I highly recommend not only spending time(more than an hour) in the classroom with your child before deciding. Also, finding a center that not only has cameras in the room but utilizes them as well. Many centers have cams set-up so you are able to link in and see what is going on in the room from your pc. I have worked in centers and the recognitions listed in the office and on the front door honestly have less to do with the quality of care your child is receiving than one would think. Someone could have a masters degree in education but not one ounce of nurturing skills; at the young age of the children in childcare, nurturing is vital and often lacking in childcare centers, preschools, early education centers, etc. Also, most of the visits and inspectons by the Nayec, Step up to Quality, state and health inspections are scheduled or known about by the center prior to the visit. Therefore, centers have time to 'be on top of things' when the inspector arrives.

  • Nancy 4 years ago

    I highly recommend not only spending time(more than an hour) in the classroom with your child before deciding. Also, finding a center that not only has cameras in the room but utilizes them as well. Many centers have cams set-up so you are able to link in and see what is going on in the room from your pc. I have worked in centers and the recognitions listed in the office and on the front door honestly have less to do with the quality of care your child is receiving than one would think. Someone could have a masters degree in education but not one ounce of nurturing skills; at the young age of the children in childcare, nurturing is vital and often lacking in childcare centers, preschools, early education centers, etc. Also, most of the visits and inspectons by the Nayec, Step up to Quality, state and health inspections are scheduled or known about by the center prior to the visit. Therefore, centers have time to 'be on top of things' when the inspector arrives.

  • Kelly Says 4 years ago

    Great work Sandy and so true.