There are several different dimensions to consider when looking for a quality early childhood program.
Just imagine walking into a child care center for the first time with a six-week-old infant as you begin your search for child care. It can be an overwhelming experience. We had more experience buying a car with more resources to make a sound decision than we do searching for child care.
What is the Climate of the school?
- What should I look for, as I walk into a child care facility?
- How am I greeted?
- Do I feel like I am welcomed?
- Are the school personnel cordial and friendly with each other?
- What is the school’s Buzz or feeling?
Once you have done a quick assessment of the Climate, now what? You need to begin to get more concrete, such as:
The investigation begins…find out the following:
- Is the Center licensed and accredited?
- What is the group size?
- What is the teacher –student ratio?
- What is the background of teachers, turnover rate, and professional development offered to teachers?
- Are families welcomed – open door policy?
- How are families involved?
SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO ASK
Now that we have a clearer framework, it is time to get to the nitty-gritty of the process…the QUESTIONS!
Consider your child’s point of view.
- What kinds of people and activities make your child comfortable and happy?
- What do you observe when you visit the program?
- What are your impressions of the person/s who will take care of your child?
Consider the physical setting and environment.
- Is it the type of place where your child will be happy, safe, and comfortable while you are away?
- What are the program’s policies and expectations?
Post by Stephen Zwolak