Choosing an early learning program for your child is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever make. This article will provide information about quality programs so you can find the best match for you and your child.
The right early learning program helps your child learn new skills and develop socially. Look for a positive and caring relationship between teachers and children. Make sure the teacher is someone you can talk to comfortably and trust. When you walk into the child care center or home, the atmosphere should be cheerful and safe. The children should be having fun and the program should include experiences and activities you think are important for your child. Above all, you want to choose a program where your child will be safe and happy – and where your ideas about parenting will be supported.
Be a Smart Shopper
Use the information in this website to help you decide if a program is a good fit for you and your child. The teachers should be caring, qualified and well organized. Read the rules and policies about fees, meals, discipline, illness, attendance and emergencies. Ask the staff to talk about their views on child development and about the daily activities they organize for the children. Walk around and look at the whole program area; be certain you are comfortable with the center and staff, and you will feel happy with your child’s entire experience there.
Do Your Research
It is a good idea to visit at least three early learning programs for at least 30 minutes each. If possible, bring your child with you on the visit and feel free to ask questions. Visit for a second time on another day and use a quality checklist for guidance on what to look for during your visit. Ask for references and talk to parents of children attending the program.
Make an Informed Decision
Like any parent, you want a program that will keep your child healthy, safe and happy. Before making a final decision, check the state’s child care licensing website, http://dcfsanswrite.state.fl.us/Childcare/provider/ for inspection information about any licensed program you are considering.