The majority of new parents agree that one of the most agonizing moments of parenthood is when they have to leave their child with someone else for the first time. Often parents are unsure how to go about finding a caregiver and even more worried about how to guarantee their child a safe, nurturing environment.
Here are some tips to help you make the right decision for your family.
The Ontario government publishes a list of licensed programs at ontario.ca/childcare. Licensed programs adhere to strict care regulations defined by the Child Care and Early Years Act. This is a great place to begin your search.
2 Plan a visit.
After finding a program or two that are of interest, take a tour and interview staff prior to making your final decision.
3 Ask questions.
Ask child care providers about: program cost and availability; health and safety; food and nutrition; learning and play; and caregiver training and professionalism. More questions to ask are also available at ontario.ca/childcare.
4 Check qualifications.
Those working in a licensed child care program are required to have an Early Childhood Education diploma and be registered with the College of Early Childhood Education. Parents can visit the College of Early Childhood Education's website to confirm their caregiver's name is listed in the public register.
Parents who take the time to explore their options will gain comfort knowing their child is getting the best care possible and they will find their Early Childhood Educator becomes a supportive parent partner. Check out our child care checklist when choosing your next caregiver.
About the expert:
Paula Brunkard, M.Ed., B.A., R.E.C.E., has been teaching in the Early Childhood Education program at Fanshawe in Clinton since 2014. She has dedicated over 30 years to the well-being of young children and their families. Brunkard has provided individual consultation to families as well as child care and early learning programs for children with exceptionalities.