Your child is precious to you and you want to get the best care you can for what you can afford. Think about the benefits that are received from children at licensed daycare facilities versus private home based baby sitters.
Daycares that are licensed need to meet standards of care, including things like facilities, meals, daily planning, support for special needs children and record keeping for individual children.
This does not mean that all states have the same licensing requirements or that they are all adequate. Merely that at a day care that is licensed, your child has some one watching over the care givers ensuring they meet standards of care that the state government hands down. Not the standard of care that hopefully you will get from whoever you can find.
This may not seem to be a problem but what happens to those kids when you leave. I know that references are a good way to check on a potential babysitter of your child but you can’t always go by them in all cases. There are situations that people get into on a daily basis where a baby sitter that has good references has problems that others don’t know about and things happen.
If this wasn’t true than the companies making nanny cams would be out of business. It is a sad fact that 16 percent of fatal abuse in children occurred by non parental caregivers in the year 2002. That is not to say they all occurred by babysitters who have been checked out or anything other than what it says. The children that died from abuse were not abused by their parents but by others watching them.
You can prevent this kind of thing by taking your child to a licensed day care. There are other befits that many do not know about or think about when considering daycares. The daycare that my wife works in is a privately funded non profit daycare that is licensed in the state of North Dakota. North Dakota has some very good rules for licensing. Minnesota, where I live has some even tougher laws about licensing for day cares.
Things that the day care are required are not only things most people would think about such as adequate fire extinguishers and exits clearly marked. But what about that meal your child is getting while at the babysitters. Does it contain all the balanced nutrition required of your child. Does your child get a well balanced and nutritious meal everyday at the daycare or baby sitter they go to.
My wife’s has to have a meal plan that is cleared by the inspectors when they have their annual inspection for the licensing. They get this meal plan or menu just like your schools do. They have material and foods available from a variety of local organizations along with stores just like you shop at.
But the meals are organized and planned to meet you child’s needs and they have to plan the meals out using guidelines the state has laid down for them. It is not a hard thing to do for a daycare to plan meals but can your babysitter say that every meal they have given your child has been nutritious.
They also have requirements regarding records and notes the teachers and administrators have to keep and show the parents and state if they want or require them to. The records I am referring to are not things like important notes regarding your child’s taking prescription medications or accidents and injuries they receive in the care of the people that work there.
I am talking about things like how well the child has eaten that day, if they had an unusually bad day regarding attitudes or tempers, or even things like, yech, bathroom visits.
Yes, my wife is required to write down bathroom visits and what the child did. This may sound like over working the poor daycare employees but important information can be gleaned form these records that can be used by the parents social workers and even the state and federal government.
For instance, some of the children at my wife’s daycare are special needs children and it is helpful to be able to use this information when the parents are talking to their doctors about the child’s condition or health.
Not only the parents but social workers and state officials can use the information in studies, without using the child’s name and information of course, to help track the benefits or disadvantages of childcare settings in special needs children.
The Census Bureau receives information from the states about childcare not only from people during the census but from the daycares that are licensed in the state. This information is of use to us in providing better environments for daycares and helping daycares provide the best care for our children.
Records are a way for the daycare to see how the child develops over time and if the child is reaching goals and certain steps of development during their young life. This is an important part of growing up in a daycare facility. The day care can see through not only normal day to day observation about the child’s development but through the records that the daycare keeps if the child has recurring problems or is not developing as he or she should be.
This is a large benefit to the parents for the record keeping, the daycare can provide records of the childs development or problems that are occurring and can recommend resources or start to help the child in whatever way is needed for the child’s sake. This can include recommendations of different care or things the parents can try at home or specialists such as speech therapists to come into the daycare to help the child.
Many daycares have special needs children and they get the care and help they deserve from not only the daycare’s workers and staff but from social workers, hospital and medical professionals and volunteers that specialize in different areas of expertise regarding children and childhood problems, conditions and medical conditions.
Daycares get help in many forms from the local community and state when it comes to the needs of your child. Not only financial, but in the form of continuing education for staff, special needs assessments, parental support and education.
Continuing education for the staff and daycare providers is an important part of licensing. If staff continue to receive education on the latest and most current techniques and knowledge of child care and special needs of children they will be that much better able to teach and help your child.
Not only CPR and first aid training but things like better techniques in dealing with special needs of children from specialists and doctors who are studying and continuing to better understand these childhood conditions. Other daycare workers and staff get together at conferences such as the NAEYC conference held annually for the betterment of child education. The NAEYC is the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
From the NAEYC web site:
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization.
Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children with more than 100,000 members, a national network of nearly 450 local, state, and regional Affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.
Membership is open to all individuals who share a desire to serve and act on behalf of the needs and rights of all young children.
They hold conferences through their regional affiliates and their own national conference for helping educators and child care providers with education and the latest news and information from many sources.
NAEYC conferences are highly attended events that allow scholars and practitioners, experts and interns, participants in every aspect of the Early Childhood Education field to gather and learn from one another. The Annual Conference and Expo is one of the largest early childhood education conferences in the world. In 2004 nearly 25,000 people came to Anaheim for the Annual Conference and Expo, and in 2005 the NAEYC conference in Washington, DC should be the early childhood education event of the year.
These are the kinds of things that daycares with licenses have access to and the kind of quality care that occurs at daycares across the country. Without the kind of daycares that exist across the country many special needs children would not get the help they need And deserve.
Your child benefits from these environments even if they do not have special needs. Daycares are required to have lesson plans that include activities in growth development and socialization that will help your child later on in life when they enter school.
Daycares have programs that monitor your child’s progress in early life and help you to understand any difficulties they encounter and can provide help and direction if needed. A daycare is better able to provide activities and programs for children that help them learn and grow in ways that parents want them to.
They have better resources for your children regardless if they have special needs or not. They are better able to handle problems and difficulties that arise just in the fact that there are more adults able to consult with each other about whatever occurs. Often daycares have special needs experts come into the facility to help children on a one on one basis to help children if needed.
Babysitters and non-licensed daycares are a great help for parents who need to have their child taken care of during the day. Licensed daycares are a better resource in that they provide care under stricter guidelines and have standards and rules that must be followed when taking care of your child.