Group child care centers

Group child care centers are required by law to be licensed. Licenses allow for additional accountability that give many parents peace of mind. Minimum standards are set for health & safety and child development/programming for both indoors and outdoors that are then enforced by government departments. Results of licensing inspections must be posted and can be viewed on-site, and in many cases the results can even be viewed online.

Most group facilities have separate rooms for different age ranges, for instance: infant room, toddler room, preschool, and school-age. Within each age group are specific standards regarding things like teacher to child ratios, types of equipment and toys, and programming expectations.

Infant centers will be connected to separate nap-rooms where cribs are kept in a quiet, darkened area accessible at anytime throughout the day. Toddlers and preschoolers often have to become accustomed to sleeping on a set schedule, as the playroom will be turned into the nap area each day with cots, nap music and the lights being turned down.

Group child care centers generally have designated outdoor green space, fenced in and secluded from public access, with outdoor toys appropriate for the group.

While some parents will choose to enroll their children in an additional preschool program that meets specific needs (i.e. a particular program philosophy or enrichment available, or offered in another language), it should not be necessary. Group child care centers standards require that all developmental needs be met, with a program that encourages appropriate growth and development.

Most licensed facilities operate according to a particular philosophy of learning. The latest trend is emergent curriculum, which has been touted as the most responsive to each child’s unique needs and strengths. (Check back for updates to learn more about various program philosophies here.)

It must be stated that while licensing ensures that a minimum standard is expected it does not guarantee quality of care. It is still vitally important that parents get to know the caregivers & program and monitor closely the care that children receive. It can also be said that license-not-required care, while not held up to the same minimum standards can still provide high quality care.

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two

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