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Choosing Quality Child Care

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
  • nutrition
  • health and safety practices
  • staff
    • 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.

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