Finding childcare is no easy task for parents. Wanting the safest place for their child(ren) with a healthy balance of developmental lessons incorporated in their everyday routine is something most parents strive for when choosing childcare. Harvard Center for the Developing Child says, “90% of a child’s brain development happens before age 5.” Yes, you read that correctly. Before age five, with the remaining 10% of brain development happening after age five. See the impact of choosing the right childcare?
Quality childcare is out there, but as a parent, familiarizing yourself with why it’s so important for the development of your child(ren) can help lead you to the perfect childcare door. A door that offers children safety, positive social, mental, physical and emotional development, as well as school readiness. As for parents, childcare also offers benefits like the ability to work or go to school while increasing productivity in and outside of the office. “Over 43% of highly qualified women with children leave their jobs,” according to Paulette Light. In helping women find value, quality childcare directly and positively affects our communities and contributes to bright futures for everyone involved. Remaining familiar with childcare options gives parents the flexibility to choose what works best for them as well as what works best for their child(ren) and his/her needs.
Nationwide, there are four distinct childcare options for parents to take part in:
- Licensed Child Care Home
- Licensed Group Family Child Care Home
- Legally or License-exempt home
- Certified or Registered Child Care Home
In collaboration with IowaWorks, we took a deeper look at childcare in Iowa – home to 3 Nestlé Purina manufacturing facilities. They familiarized us with the options available as well as the Iowa Quality Rating System (QRS). Created in 2006, The Iowa QRS helps raise the quality of childcare in Iowa as well as help increase the number of children in high-quality care settings. This rating scare provides a rating of one to give stars for providers. According to Linking Families and Communities, starting your research early, as well as writing out your needs, wants, and do not wants, will help streamline your decision. Utilize websites like the Iowa Department of Human Services, DHS Child Care Reports and Child Care Resource & Referral. Gather a list of providers in your area as well as references so that you feel prepared for interviews with the facilities/childcare employees before making your final decision. Childcare provides care and education of children while their parents work. It needs to be the best care to ensure that children grow up happy and healthy with a bright future. If you’re interviewing and something feels off, it probably is. Trust your ‘gut instinct’ and do not ignore it.
Issues are inevitable in life, but if you find yourself faced with an issue with your childcare provider, know that you have resources and entities to help. From child abuse hotlines, to concerns that you’re not sure of what to do next, call anyway. The Iowa Child Care Concern Hotline is a great place to start. Nestlé Purina as well as other industry leaders, are also offering emergency leave days to care for family, which will give you peace of mind in your choice of both employer and care. Quality childcare across the country is available and by utilizing some of these tips and resources, you can be confident in your choice of care.