Choosing Quality Care

Some of the most important aspects of finding child care can be found below in the question and answers. The more information you find out about the provider, the better both you and your child will feel.

 

Top What kind of environment should I look for?
Look for a welcoming, open and airy space. Toys should be clean, age appropriate and in good condition. The play, rest, and eating areas should also be clean. There should be an abundance of indoor and outdoor play space. The outdoor play area should have a variety of toys and play equipment. Indoors, children's work should be displayed, and there should be an atmosphere that is inviting and supportive to children and their families.

Top What are some of the characteristics of a quality child care provider?
Look for caregivers who are warm, responsive and affectionate. She should bend down to talk to children face to face. A good caregiver should listen carefully to the children in her care, and respond to their needs. She should interact with the children at playtime, have a postitive attitude, and use positive discipline to build self-esteem. She should support and guide children rather than control and correct them. It is important that she includes quiet or shy children in group activities. A good provider always takes the time to talk with parents about their child's behaviour and activities.

Top What kind of programming should be offered by the caregiver?
Quality programming will be reflected in children who seem relaxed and happy. There should be a balance between individual and group activities. There should be an area where children can rest or play quietly. Some parents will require a program that accommodates children with special needs. Ensure there are a variety of activities availabe for your child; for example drama (dress-up, pretend), arts & crafts, books, sensory (sandbox, water), puzzles and table toys.

Top What are some of the health and saftey guidelines I should look for in a quality child care setting?
Make sure emergency phone numbers are posted by each phone. Written plans for emergencies should be posted in each room. There should be working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems. Emergency exits and stairwells cannot be cluttered or blocked. Poisonous materials should be locked up, and electrical outlets should be covered. It is important that the caregivers and the children wash their hands frequently, and that the washrooms and eating areas are clean. Caregivers need to be constantly aware of all activities in the room. Snacks and meals should be nutritious and planned according to Canada's Food Guide.

Top What type of care is right for my child?
Private Home Day Care is provided in a caregiver's home with a small, family-like setting. Children from the same family can be cared for together often in their own neighbourhood, close to school and friends. Hours of care can be flexible and may be adapted to suit the needs of individual families such as overnight and weekend care.

Centre based care provides organized programs for groups of children from 3 months to 12 years. Centres are licensed yearly and they must meet all government standards to maintain their license. Individual private home day cares are not licensed, but may be associated with a licensed agency.

Keep in Mind...a license is not a guarantee of high quality. It represents only minimum standards. A high quality centre will exceed those standards and should satisfy your expectations.

Top How many children is a provider allowed to care for?
A provider who is NOT associated with an agency (Wee Watch or Wellington County) may care for 5 children under the age of 10 years, in addition to their own. Children over the age of 10 years do not count in the numbers.

A provider who IS associated with an agency(Wee Watch or Wellington County) have age and number restrictions. The provider may care for 5 children maximum, excluding their own children, including any children over the age of 10 years that have been placed there by the agency. As well, there are age restrictions that the provider must adhere to. That means the provider may not have more children than the age of the child, ie; 1 child under 1 year, 2 children under 2 years, 3 children under 3 years, 4 children under 4 years and 5 children under 5 years. Again, this includes their own children and any that are older than 5 years that have been placed there by an agency.