and Using Child Care
Many moms today work and rely on child care for their children.
Relatives or family members sometimes take on child-care duties,
or children are enrolled in child-care programs. All parents wish
the best start for their children. Child care is more than just
a service that allows parents to work. It is a world that will affect
a child's development in many ways physically, emotionally,
intellectually, and socially.
quality child care that is affordable can be challenging. Many parents
need inexpensive or cost-free day care where they know their children
are safe and are being helped to grow and develop. Parents can contact
their local social service agency (listed in the phone book) for
information about government-sponsored programs such as Head Start
and Early Head Start and other community programs.
National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC) recommends taking
the following steps to choosing quality child care. Also, we have
provided a Child
Care Provider Checklist for evaluating possible child care providers.
to Choosing Quality Child Care
Look. Visit several child care homes or centers. Visit the home
or center more than once and stay as long as possible so you can
get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. Continue
to visit even after you start using the home or center.
Make sure the place is cheerful and not too quiet, which can mean
not enough activity. Happy-sounding children means they are involved
Count the number of children in the group and the number of staff
members caring for them. The fewer the number of children for each
staff member, the more attention your child will get.
Adults who care for children need knowledge and experience. Ask
about the background and experience of all staff that will have
contact with your child in the home or center.
Informed. Find out more about efforts in your community to improve
the quality of child care. Ask if the home or center is involved
in these activities. Consider getting involved yourself.
the web sites of the following organizations for more guidelines
on choosing child care.
National Child Care Information Center
Child Care Aware
Start Information and Publication Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Fact Sheets and Resources
information presented on this site is intended solely as a general
educational aid, and is neither medical nor healthcare advice for
any individual problem, nor a substitute for medical or other professional
advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar
with your unique circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician
or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical
condition and before starting any new treatment.