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Infant Child Care: What to Look For
When you place your baby in the care of someone else, be it family child care, a center, a relative or friend, the key to your peace of mind is trust. The more you trust the caregiver, the more secure you will feel. Here are some questions to ask:
Does the caregiver ...
- have child-rearing attitudes similar to yours?
- have training to understand what children can and want to do at different stages of growth?
- spend time holding, playing with, and talking to your baby?
- have enough time to look after all the children in care?
- welcome visits from parents at any time?
Does the home or center have ...
- a license?
- only a few children?--remember, infants do better in small groups.
- does the center have a clean and comfortable look?
- equipment that is safe and in good repair?
- nutritious meals and snacks, if provided?
Are there chances for children ...
- to be held, cuddled, rocked, smiled at, and talked to?
- to relax and rest when they need to?
- to crawl and explore safely?
- to play with toys that develop their touch, sight and hearing.
- and, are there chances for children to learn language through the caregiver talking to the child, naming things, describing what he or she is doing, and responding to the child's actions?
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Photo Credit - USDA - Larry Rana