Day care centers provide care for children whose ages range from infancy to school-age. While there are many different types of day care programs available, the majority focus on providing care to children while their parents are away at work or handling other responsibilities.
Generally, a day care program will offer a combination of fun and educational activities that will help to foster the development of a child at their age level. Here, are the essentials that every day care must have in place to be able to provide for the highest level of care for every child in their program.
Safe Indoor and Outdoor Environment
One of the primary functions of a day care program is to keep the children safe and healthy during their time in the center. For this reason, safety procedures and practices are essential in every day care center. These should cover basic safety and sanitation issues such as hand-washing and basic first aid.
Additionally, every day care center should practice emergency procedures for fire drills and inclement weather. The outdoor playground should also include features that promote safety such as a cushioned fall zone around climbing equipment and a fence around the entire perimeter of the yard.
Even children as young as infancy, can benefit from having planned activities each day that are designed to foster their development. These activities should be included within a schedule that offers both planned times for lessons and opportunities for free play. To document the types of activities that the children enjoy, they should also be included upon a lesson plan that is made visible to families who visit the center.
Quality Teacher Training and Education
Day care programs should always seek to employ teachers and caregivers who have been through training in child development. While some programs prefer to hire educators with a degree, others find that thorough training is beneficial for everyone in a day care program.
In addition to completing training in child development, a quality day care program will also include an educator trained in first aid and CPR in their centers.
Utilization of Technology
Child development research is now showing that children should be exposed to technology at a young age; however, it is essential for this exposure to be offered in developmentally appropriate lessons. For example, preschoolers may be invited to use learning programs on the computer that focus on alphabetic knowledge and number games.
Older children may utilize computers to complete their homework or to play a game that can supplement their learning. Many day care programs also utilize technology to enable parents to view their child’s activities using a specially-designed website or online program.
A quality day care will always take a well-rounded approach to ensuring the safety and health of the children in their care. By providing each classroom with a staff member trained in child development who can implement age-appropriate activities, a day care center will always be certain to ensure that every child receives the highest level of care.
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