March 5, 2008
Governor Tim Kaine was just in our area to talk about early childhood development. In addition to Pre-K education, child care is another area of concern.
We spoke to Jacki Bryant, the Executive Director of Youth and Family Services in Charlottesville. She says, Charlottesville has been ahead of the game when it comes to childhood development.
"A routine to the day teaches children what's coming next and what to expect and those things are important for later success in school," she says.
Bryant says they've been working on child care quality for years.
The seal of good child care is a local rating system designed as a guide to help parents pick the perfect caregiver for their children.
"What parents can look for is a provider that has the seal which will say they have met the minimum standards of quality at that level of care and it will really help inform parents as they look at quality care," adds Bryant.
Bryant says there are several areas parents should be looking at when choosing child care. They include the caregiver's education and training in early development. Parents should look at learning opportunities available. That includes play areas, books, music, and time to develop practical life skills. Bryant suggests observing the interaction between the caregiver and your child to make sure it is positive and supportive. Another big area of concern is health and safety.
"We all want our kids to be safe it's really important so looking for things like separate diapering areas are the outlets covered? Is there a fire extinguisher? Are there other safety measures? Is there an adequate number of adults for the children?" she adds.
Children Youth and Family Services has a referral line for parents seeking quality child care.
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