Educational Editorial: Child care

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With schools beginning to open many parents have been looking for childcare programs that will provide pre and after school supervision for children. With care ranging from in-home nannies to sophisticated commercial operations, what is available and what criteria should parents use in making their selection?

If you visit the Bureaus of Labor Statistics and go to careers for young people, you will find that there are 1.4 million childcare providers in the U.S. One third of these are self-employed. It is also projected that over the next 10 years the growth in providers with the greater than the average for all jobs. Workers may have a high school diploma as a minimum but most states require a license with specific training.

When you shop for a childcare program, check for these criteria:

--Are they required to have a license, do they have one, and who issued it?
--Is there a safe and attractive environment?
--Are interesting and varied materials available to children?
--Are the children happy and involved in activities?
--Are staff responsive, sensitive, and providing constant supervision?
--Is there lots of social interaction?
--Is it intellectually and physically challenging?
--Are children disciplined?
--Do children have time for play and choices?
--Are the teachers and providers well-educated and trained in child development?

It is truly ironic that most of us spend more time shopping for a car than we do a school. Well, when you visit your next childcare provider, remember that this is not a "clunkers for cash" are offering them the best that you have...and you expect it to return home in better shape that when you left it.

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