If you are a mother running a home child care business and you want to make your center more fun, safe, and enticing to both parents and children then here is what the experts in child care research have to say about high-quality daycare homes and what makes them good.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Panel on Child Care Policy at the National Academy of Sciences have studied home-based child care centers around the country. Their findings can help anyone operating a home-based child care center make it safer, more attractive to parents, and a positive and lasting learning experience for the children.
Only One in Seven Daycare Centers Rated Good or Excellent
In a recent study done in four U.S. states, including California, researchers found that almost three-quarters of licensed daycare centers provided adequate, minimal care. Only one in ten fell below minimal standards set by law.
They also found that the best centers only spent a small amount of money more than lesser ranking centers. Several factors differentiated the best daycare centers from the lower ranking ones.
High Quality Daycare Centers Share These Factors
Being licensed by state and local governments, and following the laws for health and safety set by them, are essential prerequisites for a safe daycare business. These regulations spell out all of the important safety requirements needed for legal and safe operation.
Besides following the required state and local licensing and building regulations, one of the next most distinguishing features of the highest quality daycare centers is good communication between parents and providers.
Good communication starts with having well established, written policies about fees, hours of operation, and sick day requirements. Parents also appreciate, and often expect, an open-door policy, so they can come by and check on their child whenever they like. This kind of policy protects everyone and is a hallmark of the best ranking centers.
Parents also want to know that their child is receiving healthy, caring attention when they need it, and that the child is engaged in activities promoting learning and school readiness. Providers need to engage in ongoing communication with each parent to establish and promote trust and share information about daily activities and the child’s progress.
Parents and caregivers also need good communication so that any problems in a child’s health, development, or behavior are noted and discussed. Top ranking centers keep written notes to prevent information from getting lost in the shuffle.
The best daycare centers also have learning programs that are regular, varied, and involve learning opportunities for a child on his or her own, as well as structured participation in both small and large-group activities.
Toys, learning aids, and equipment used by children are age appropriate and available to the children with minimal adult involvement in the best daycare facilities. Regular, healthy snacks and meals are also provided and adjusted to the needs of each child.
The Benefits of Top Quality Daycare Center
Having a safe, fun, and attractive daycare center is mostly about attention to the details of each child’s needs and communicating in a positive way with parents and other caregivers about the child.
Other studies have found that children who attend the highest quality home daycare centers have better language, math, and creative skills later in life, and, they become more caring people.