Info for Parents & Educators: questions to ask your child care provider

Successfully caring for children has many dimensions to consider - for both the care giver and the parents. Whether you are providing a service for someone else or looking for child care, knowing the answers to some basic questions makes it easier to decide what is the best option for your family.

When I was last pregnant, I nearly LIVED on BabyCenter. They have a comprehensive list of questions to ask a child care provider. You may also find some of the answers on the providers web site or in their parent handbook.

The list was actually a helpful tool for me, as a provider, to ensure that I am able to address the needs of families interested. I used it to help construct my policies and practices. My answers are available on the Program Information page.

One question that isn't on the list is one that every parent has asked:
  "Do you do letters, numbers, and shapes and that kind of stuff?"
Short Answer: Yes.
Longer Answer: In early childhood, children learn through their experiences with the environment. Play provides the opportunity to practice the skills needed in a kindergarten or first grade classroom. So, during the day I do have a "circle time," music & movement, fine motor practice, gross motor activities, vocabulary and pre-reading activities, sensory activities, and identifying and sorting activities. These are the mediums used to practice letters, shapes, colors, and numbers.
   What I feel is the most important part of early childhood is social, emotional, and language development. By building a strong foundation that includes social interactions, positive self-expression, problem solving, empathy, and respectfulness, children are able to focus on the academic material when it become appropriate for them. They are willing to try new things, make mistakes, ask for help, appreciate differences, and stand up for themselves.

What important question do you ask that isn't listed here?