Daycare or dump: What to know when looking for child care

By Shannon Symonds

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, April 14 2013 9:20 a.m. MDT

Toys and art supplies should be clean, fun and safe. Benchmarks for Quality Childcare by NACCRRA lists areas of development and suggests providers supply toys to help your children learn and grow in these areas. For example:

Motor development. Items like blocks to stack, bicycles to ride and balls to roll.

Language and literacy. Books to read, paper and pencils, and story time.

Math. Numbers posted as well as counting with children, and items to play with that encourage counting and sorting skills.

Science. Opportunities to experiment and invent or observe nature.

Dramatic play. Dress up and play house.

Culturally appropriate materials. Dolls and pictures of children from different cultures and traditions.

Discuss discipline.

If your child hits or bites another child, what will happen? Do they use time out? Where is the designated timeout area? Do they spank? Do you approve of the methods they use? Ask about their plan when children misbehave.

However, the best advice is to listen to your heart. When choosing a provider, surprise them, go to the house or school without giving them notice, and listen before entering. Do you hear yelling or children's laughter? You are hiring them. You have the right to inspect the house from top to bottom.

Watch your children. They will tell you what works. Do they run from your arms to play and cry when its time to go home and leave their friends? If they do, you have chosen wisely. Choose day care that makes you want to stay and play.

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