Northern Health is offering tips for parents looking for quality child care options as the new school year starts. Asking the right questions can help make the difference in finding the best place for your child.
?Choosing a quality childcare arrangement can be a big responsibility,? said Judy Barth, Northern Health Licensing Officer. ?Whatever you decide, remember to get as much information from the different providers as you can, so you have the tools you need to make the right choice for your family.?
Here are a few tips to think about when looking for a child care provider:
? Get a list of the licensed childcare facilities in your area (available through Northern Health?s local community care facility licensing office or from Child Care Resource and Referral) ? Make appointments to visit as many different kinds of care providers as you can.
? Bring a list of questions to your appointment, such as what types of discipline are used, what is the daily schedule like, how often do the children play outside, etc.
? Try to think of a situation that would be common for your child and ask the caregiver how they would respond – such as what would you do if my child refused to eat lunch, or did not want to lie down for naptime?
? Ask to see a copy of the care provider?s policies, registration forms and parent contracts.
? Ask to see any copies of previous community care licensing inspection reports.
? Once you?ve narrowed choices down to two or three providers, ask if you can bring your child for a visit. Then talk to your child to see what he/she thought of the daycare and caregiver.
Licensed child care programs must meet the requirements of provincial child care regulations, which include health and safety standards, space and equipment requirements, child to staff ratios, and staff qualifications. There are a variety of licensed child care facilities to meet the needs of families, including group daycares, preschools, and family child care offered in private residences.
For more information on how to choose the best option for your child, pick up a copy of a ?Parent?s Guide to Selecting Child Care?. This booklet is available through your local Northern Health community care facility licensing office, as well as your local Child Care Resource and Referral office.