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Tips On Choosing Family Child Care and Relative Care

Look for Someone Who is Warm and Caring Toward Your Child.

Parents and providers agree and research shows that this is one of the most important ingredients of quality. Look at the way the provider approaches your child — is she/he caring? How does she/he treat children who are crying — is the child comforted or criticized? Ask the provider to describe a child she/he has cared for before — are her/his words harsh and judgmental or appreciative of the child’s special qualities?

Look for Someone Who is Attentive and Responsive.

This is also crucial to quality. Look at how the provider pays attention to children and talks to them. Does she/he ask questions that encourage them to express themselves, or engage them in conversation?

Look for Someone Who Wants to be a Provider.

Ask why she/he became a provider and see how the provider seems to feel about this work — is it out of a commitment to children or merely a sense of obligation to the parents?

Look for Someone Who Seeks out Opportunities to Learn About Children.

Ask if the provider has ever taken training about children or child care. Does she/he read things about children or watch programs about them on television?

Look for Someone Who Plans Experiences for Children.

Ask the provider to describe a day caring for children and see if her/his approach has any prior planning.

Look for Someone Who has a Support System of Other Providers to Turn to.

Does she/he belong to a family child care association or have other providers to talk to?

Look for Someone Who Follows Standard Business Practices.

Does she/he ask you for a phone number where you can be reached during the day, make sure your child is immunized, and have a schedule for being paid?

Look for Someone Who Is Regulated.

Although parents and providers don’t always think being regulated (licensed or registered) by the state is a sign of quality, The Study of Children in Family Child Care and Relative Care**** shows that it is. Providers who are regulated are more sensitive and responsive.


**** Families and Work Institute, The Study of Children in Family Child Care and Relative Care: Highlights of Findings, 1994.


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MetroDaycare.com does not in any way endorse or recommend any of the child day care listings found within its site, and cannot be held responsible or liable in any way for your dealings with them. MetroDaycare.com provides this site as a directory to assist you in locating providers in your area, does not own or operate a child day care facility itself, and makes no representation of any of the listings contained within the top level domain MetroDaycare.com. We encourage that you look into any child care provider that you wish to place your children, and we provide this service only as a means of locating child care providers in your area.  Metrodaycare.com does not guarantee the accuracy of listings on its site. However we do strive to keep listings accurate.  Report errors here.
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