Timothy J. Bartik
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Early Childhood Investment Corporation, Diversity Specialist
How much do you know about the person caring for your children? I have yet to meet a parent who didn’t tell me they had the best child care provider. The provider who is accommodating when you need an early drop off or late pick up. The provider who accommodates you when you forget to pack the lunch, the winter hat and gloves, or those extra diapers. The provider who your child wishes they could spend more time with. Have I hit it right yet?
What else do you know about your provider? Do you know how many children and what ages they are licensed to care for? Do you know what your child ate for lunch yesterday? Do you know how long your child will listen to stories or experience books tomorrow? What is underneath the outdoor play space to keep your child safe when she falls? Do you know how often your child’s diaper is changed? Do you know how many ounces from the bottle your child drank? Do you know how your school age child spent their time today? These are questions you should ask your provider or know the answers to everyday. Are you welcome to stop by at anytime of the day to visit or check in?
Quality early learning is more than how accommodating your provider is to your needs. Quality early learning is also how responsive and appropriate the provider is to your child’s learning and developmental needs. Asking questions like these let’s your provider know you are concerned about more than how loved your child is when you are not with them. Asking questions like these let’s your provider know you are an informed parent who wants to make sure your child gets the best experiences when she is in their care.
I recently saw a video on YouTube that is playing in Texas about child care providers and just how much parents know about their provider. Even though it is targeted to Texas families the questions are still relevant. Check it out and ask yourself, how much do I know about my provider?