While leaving a child with a family or friend may be the most economical option, early learning centers provide an educational and developmental opportunity for children of all ages.
Identifying quality childcare is an important decision for every parent. Quality facilities are licensed by the Florida Department of Children & Families which require a minimum set of standards. As you visit childcare providers, ask these important questions.
- Is the facility licensed by the State of Florida?
- Are all teachers are up-to-date on training requirements?
- Do staff have positive, nurturing interaction with the children?
- Does the facility have clean, safe surroundings?
- Do they provide healthy, nutritious snacks and/or meals?
- How do they keep parents informed about their child's progress and school updates?
- Are the children constantly supervised?
- Do the children appear to be happy and comfortable in their surroundings?
- Does the facility meet all staff-to-child ratios?
You can also download this quality checklist from the Office of Early Learning to use as a resource. In addition, the Florida Department of Children & Families also provides a website with information and resources including a caregiver/parent's guidebook.