What to Look for in Child Care Essay

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Day Care Services

When both parents need to work to support the family, but the family has a child and there is no family member available to provide care for that child, the only option for those parents is to locate a child care facility and trust that the care will be of good quality. This paper reviews the process that parents will go through in determining which facility to use, and then what they should know before selecting a high-quality child care facility.

The city is Fresno and the state is California.

There are minimum standards for child care in California, including that they must be licensed by the state. One child care center can include infants, toddlers, preschool or school-aged children, but separate licenses are required for each category. It is more common to have a child care center specialize in just one age group, but as mentioned, with the proper licensing, a center can have more than one age group to care for.

There are ratios (children to adult caregivers) that are required for each category of children. The California State Requirements are as follows: for a child 6 weeks old, 4-1 (one caregiver for every 4 children); Nine months old, 4-1; eighteen months old, 6-1; twenty-seven months, 6-1; three and four years old, 12-1; five, six, seven, eight and nine years old, 14-1.

As to centers that care for preschoolers and infants, teachers must be at least 18 years of age and have completed "at least twelve units of early childhood education, including three units of infant/toddler coursework" (www.cde.

THREE: The guidelines for high quality care in Fresno are generally the same as they are for any city in California; in other words, Fresno follows California's guidelines. That said, in Fresno the Children's Services Network notes that just because a given child care center has a license, that is "no guarantee of quality," and moreover, in Fresno the law requires licensed child care facilities to "make copies of any licensing report accessible to the public" -- which is "Oliver's Law" (CSN). Oliver's Law is the parents' right to all licensing information, and in Fresno parents of children who are searching for an appropriate facility for their child have the right to access any files, including those critical of the care given by any facility. The only assurance that a given child care in Fresno is of high quality is for the parents to do the research first (with the resources provided by the Children's Services Network) and then visit the centers and ask to see the files available under Oliver's law.

FOUR: The guidelines that are most important to a family include the fact that the facility has one teacher for every four children under the….....

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