Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston


How to choose a daycare

In today’s world, it is a rare event when a parent stays home with children rather than work outside the home. The one question people ask is if daycare affects a child’s behavior and development. Well, it all depends on the quality of care.

After spending 15 years either working at, directing or owning a daycare, I learned a lot. Asking how daycare affects a child’s behavior and development is a big question on how it affects the child. The short answer is, daycare has a variety of measurable effects, many positive and some negative. Those effects hinge on the quality of the care, the type of care and the amount of time spent in it, pretty much as with parenting.

There is one daycare in this county that I had the wonderful opportunity along with other employees to receive monthly training. I’m going to share with you a few of the most important observations you should look for as a parent.

Does the center have a posted planned schedule of learning? Does it include educational toys, music, books, science, and math centers where each child can spend time and have the opportunity to choose a different area after a short period of time?

Baby and toddler rooms should not be ignored. A childcare worker should take the time to hold and give a child attention and not leave him or her in a crib or on the floor all day. This is when positive effects are being taken care of by a quality-trained caretaker also having a schedule. The ratio of having fewer children in the room provides for this type of care. The ratios are usually six children to one adult in the baby and toddler rooms.

As a child gets older, he or she will graduate to another class and caretaker. The importance of this change is to make sure there are sufficient age-related toys, books and teacher time spent with the children. The caretaker should have a posted schedule that involves outside activities as weather permits, along with inside games and learning to share.

It is very hard for a child to learn to share, and that is why the daycare I’m familiar with does not allow a child to bring his or her own toys. The children have the use of all the toys and equipment available for all to play with while learning to share.

It is my opinion that television should not be used in daycare unless for movies or educational training that will appeal to the child’s age. I believe a child’s interaction with the caretaker should begin the moment the child arrives. There should be appropriate age toys and equipment for every room. This is needed to have a planned schedule for the children.

Researchers emphasize that many millions of children are in daycare, and for 60 percent of those children, the care giving is neither sensitive nor responsive to their needs. So, you do need to be aware as a parent.

Part II of this article will be published next week.

Keep Smiling, Rosie Please visit my blog site at and e-mail me at

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