Choosing quality child care is a very important decision. Certainly, location and cost will be factors. You also want to find a safe, healthy environment. One that supports the social, physical, and emotional development of your child.
Kids & Company provide a comprehensive list of tips on choosing quality child care. They advise:
- Start early
- Make a call
- Go on a tour
Checklist for choosing quality child care
You can download the checklist from Kids & Company here.
Alberta Government offers a guide online at Alberta.ca. This guide provides a quick list of things to consider.
Some of the areas that you will want to learn about are:
- is it an approved program; that is, licensed by the Government of Alberta
- environment of the facility: indoors and outdoors
- curriculum and programming
- health and safety practices
- qualifications and experience of the Director
- qualifications and on-going training of the staff
Types of child care
Alberta.ca describes types of licensed child care options:
- day care programs that serve infants, toddlers and pre-school-aged children
- family day homes:
- offer care in a private residence for up to 6 children, including the caregiver’s own children, with one caregiver
- group family child care programs:
- offer care in a private residence and have between 7 and 10 children with 2 caregivers
- out-of-school-care programs:
- operate before and after school, during lunch hours and sometimes when school is closed
- pre-school programs:
- offer child care for 4 or less hours per day for pre-school aged children
There are private child care providers too. That is, those who offer child care out of their homes. However, they have not applied for a licence to operate under the provincial family day home category. These programs can offer private babysitting to up to 6 children, not including their own. There are no government oversights on private babysitting arrangement. Nor are they monitored by the Government of Alberta.