What defines high-quality childcare?
Children are our greatest investments. Living and working with children is inquisitive, curious, and full of emotions! Quality childcare should include a holistic approach to learning by investing in a child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive developments. Let’s dig into key components of high-quality childcare so you can make informed decisions for your child(ren).
What is high-quality childcare?
High-quality childcare helps establish a foundation of being life-long learners. Learning should be social, provide experiences, and support growing and curious minds. Quality childcare provides opportunities for learning by creating engaging experiences that explore music, art, problem-solving, and more. We learn by doing and experiencing. When learning experiences are positive, even for young children, neuropathways for future learning develop in healthy ways. As a matter of fact, the first five years of life are critical years for brain development as this is the time when the brain develops the fastest and learning opportunities can have the most positive influence on language, cognitive, physical, and social-emotional skills.
Learning is social and should be age appropriate. Sharing an experience provides opportunities for conversation skills, social/ emotional skills, and cognitive skills to be developed, practiced, and nurtured. Talking about learning, asking questions, problem-solving opportunities, and trying different solutions all promote learning while supporting social skills, empathy, resilience, and prosocial behavior even later in life. These are all benefits that we hope for as we strive to raise kind and compassionate children.
Diversity is also a focus in high-quality childcare. Diversity of language, culture, gender, religions, and backgrounds facilitates the opportunities for learning empathy, practicing kindness, and appreciating others.
When children experience quality childcare, you help to increase their chances for success later in life. Strong educational foundations and work habits create so many opportunities that promote an increased ability with math computations in younger grades, increased graduation rate (25%), increase in college degrees earned, and may even up to 25% more income.
What should you watch for when visiting a childcare?
As you explore childcare options, watch for these critical traits being modeled:
- Consistency in staff from year to year. This will help children become comfortable and gain a sense of belonging and familiarity with their learning community.
- Qualified staff who have been trained in early childhood development.
- Low student to teacher ratios, or small class sizes. In smaller groups, children are cared for in a more individualized manner, making it easier to have one-on-one conversations and work time, attention, and investment.
- Experienced director who will support the learning environment for staff, children, and families.
- Positive interactions between children and their teachers.
- Age-appropriate, stimulating activities of various forms.
- Cleanliness, nutrition, and good hygiene practices.
What is Quality Childcare? Stepping Stones Childcare!
At Stepping Stones Child Care in The Woodlands, TX we know that good, quality childcare happens in a place where children can learn because they feel safe and secure. Contact us to learn more about how we can partner with you.