I am a child care provider. what do you as a mom look for in a great at home child care provider?

Joyce - posted on 10/27/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I am a child care provider. I am looking for working mom's input. What are your concerns, needs and wants, when searching for a provider? Are you looking for growth in your child? Or just a safe place for them to go to?

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Ariel - posted on 10/27/2009

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I am looking for a place where my child can grow, learn, and feel comfortable. When visiting a facility - I look for a director/teacher/tour guide to engage my child right from the start. If he or she ignores my child while I am standing there - they probably will when I am not.

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I like to see structure in the day. I want to know that my child will be read to, play outdoors, and participate in activities like music, arts and crafts. I also like cleanliness of the facility and academics that will help prepare him for kindergarten. I examine the playground for safety and look for age appropriate toys inside. The child care providers should be warm and caring. If it is at home daycare there should be healthy snacks and meals with very little or no TV. The home should be kept clean and uncluttered with child safe features in place.

Heather - posted on 10/27/2009

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All of the above is great! My favorite at home child care provider was a real nature nut too. She would catch a praying mantis and jumping spider and sometimes a caterpillar and put them in little see through boxes and the kids would have their science lesson all through summer feeding them and cleaning the cages. She was always doing stuff like that and they spent a lot of time, weather permitting, outside playing and learning about things. Plus, they got fresh air and plenty of excercise. I also liked the fact that the only time that the TV was on was when she was fixing lunch/snacks and it was always on PBS or some other learning channel, instead of just garbage. She also played music almost continuously, and encouraged dancing and singing. She had learning and reading time, and one day, I showed up and the living room had been converted into this maze using blankets and chairs and stuff. Totally cool and my daughter had a blast!! Just some ideas. I like the daycare they are at now, because they have a certain lesson plan for the day, and something that they focus on weekly and monthly, like citizenship and such. They send home a 'drive time' letter each week stating what there focus that week is and some topics to talk with your kids about to reinforce what they have been learning, so that you can be involved as well. Like one week was farm animals (in the 3 year old class) and their questions were like: What animals would you see on the farm? Would you see a giraffe on a farm? What sound does a pig make, etc. I don't know how far you want to go into any of this, but if you are wanting to be more than just a place for the kids to come and play all day, they are ideas.

Mandy - posted on 10/27/2009

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Someone my daughter would be comfortable with. Also, a clean place for her to stay. Some of places look like disaster areas. I understand it's where children play, but I want to feel my child will be taken care of. I also want to know she and the other children will be disciplined and not allowed to run wild. Also for my daughter's social skills to grow.

Tiffany - posted on 10/27/2009

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Cleanliness of the home, activities, how the children interact with the provider, organization, flexibility, and do well on inspections.

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Melissa - posted on 10/27/2009

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I moved away to go to school just before my son turned two, I only stayed there of a year and a half and moved back. When I did, I went to 11 different day cares before I found the right one. One of the previous places smelled like wet animals. I walked right out. I look for a place that's clean. Has kids art work on the walls. Has an upbeat, colorful place. Friendly staff, and I really like them to have a nice size playground. I like to hear what his classroom does. Do they take field trips? I find out what there disciplinary actions are for when a child misbehaves. One other thing that I really liked is that they kept track of what he ate for lunch. My son would get full from drinking too much juice, so they would let me kow what he ate and how the day went. Most important is to make the parents and children feel welcome and happy and safe. Get to know the parents and they will ultimatly like your place better. I know when I have more children, they will be going to the same daycare. I used to drive 20 minutes out of my way in the morning, just to take him there. Good luck!!

Teresa - posted on 10/27/2009

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All my children are grown and now I have the grandchildren. I think most parents that I talk to want a safe place for sure, but also at the young age - they are like sponges and need to be taught things - - they learn so much as toddlers......I use to love for them to come home from the lady who kept mine and they would have work pages done and stories to tell me about their day. My care provider was an angel for me.

Michelle - posted on 10/27/2009

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yes for definate Sandra. trips to the park to pick leaves then come back and do some paint prints with them is a nice idea I like. Things like that. Or even building snowmen when its winter, letting them run about in the snow. T.V may be okay for an hour while your trying to prepare meals but not all day.

Sandra - posted on 10/27/2009

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On top of what the other women said I want to know that my child is not watching TV all day or playing video games all the time.

Michelle - posted on 10/27/2009

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Hi Joyce, I think the things that I look for are:



- a safe home. somewhere my child can go and play and i can be sure no major accidents are going to happen, like tripping over a t.v wire and ending up through the french doors...etc.. bumps and grazes will happen. kids will play and mess about.

- Someone who is First Aid trained...essential if a real emergency happens.

- someone who will help me raise my child in the same way I do, such as same discipline methods. Someone who is loving and kind and can enjoy hugs with my child. I know theres all the new legislation and that (i also am a qualified childcarer, not gone back to work yet, cause i cant find anyone suitable for my little girl) but I think its essential for the person who is going to be with my child probably more hours a day than I will, to love them.

- healthy foods. I would like food that my child can enjoy yet is healthy. No junk unless its someones birthday etc... rules have to be obeyed...such as my little girl is milk intolerant, that includes anythink from cows milk to certain gravies, to cheese and some bread. I would like someone to know what foods my child can have a stick to it as she could become very ill if someone was to just give her a' wotsit' without checking the ingredients.

- A clean environment. Preferrably with no dogs/cats as they can be tempramental.

- Somewhere my child will learn new things, new words and new ways of doing things. i dont want someone who will force my child to try and write or count. just encouragement to do the things she feels she can accomplish. I dont want a teacher, just a carer, who loves my child an a way a mother would.



- To be able to trust the carer...so important as I would be leaving the most precious person in my life in your hands. No lying about what she ate that day, or ignore that bump on her head, then I find the bruise later...Ive seen it done in many nurseries and how awful is for any parent to think there child has eaten well all day but hasnt really and actually may be hungry when in the car etc...

Tina - posted on 10/27/2009

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If my child is comfortable in his surrounding area and it is a safe enviornment. If he learns new things (positive things) then that is a plus. Time out is alright when they need it but I do not approve of others disaplining my kids. Treat them as you would your own kids and you should be fine. I do pay attention to who my kids like and don't like. If they don't like someone, then they hav a reason and I will not hav them around someone they don't like. I hope this helps you out.

Kelly - posted on 10/27/2009

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For me the most important thing is that my child is comfortable. So providers who try to hard to impress strike me as they are trying to hide something. I let my daughters actions tell me if its a good place or not. If she is comfortable, is willing to play while I am talking with the provider, that is a good sign.

Kelly - posted on 10/27/2009

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For me the most important thing is that my child is comfortable. So providers who try to hard to impress strike me as they are trying to hide something. I let my daughters actions tell me if its a good place or not. If she is comfortable, is willing to play while I am talking with the provider, that is a good sign.

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