Child Care Resource Library
While caring for toddlers and older children is not without its challenges, providing care for newborns introduces an entirely separate set of requirements and needs. Childcare providers should know how to properly meet the needs of newborns to promote healthy development while discouraging the spread of illness, reducing risk and keeping newborns safe.
Potty training is a milestone for children, parents and childcare providers alike, but it can also be a long and challenging road for all involved parties. Children do tend to reach full potty training on their own schedule, though many childcare providers do specify the age by which a child must be potty trained in order to continue care. Ideally, a childcare provider will adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, which stress potty training at the appropriate developmental level above chronological age.
Working in the child care industry can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path, but the multiple options within the industry can present a challenge to those attempting to determine the required level of education for their chosen path. The child care industry encompasses a variety of job titles and positions, so a career in child care can create some confusion regarding the required level of education. In order to better understand what level of education will be required in order to successfully embark upon a career in the industry, caregivers should learn more about the position which they’d most like to pursue and how the requirements for education can affect their success.
Hiring a private, in-home child care provider can be a great investment for many families, but it does require a significant amount of tedious work during the hiring process. After sifting through a number of resumes, conducting interviews and talking to references, parents usually aren’t eager to repeat the process unless absolutely necessary. High nanny turnover rates can also wreak havoc on a child’s routine, and it can be very upsetting for a child to lose a beloved caregiver. For parents who also happen to be nanny employers, the best course of action is to hold onto the high-quality private caregiver they’ve already hired in order to provide children with consistency and avoid household disruptions. The key to reducing nanny turnover, in many cases, is simply providing a good environment in which to work.
In single parent households with an employed parent or households in which both parents are employed outside of the home, child care costs can make up a significant portion of the monthly budget. For lower income families, expenses related to childcare can be prohibitive, but there are programs available which provide some financial assistance for child care fees to eligible families. The average cost of center-based care in the United States is $11,666 per year, but costs do vary from state to state. Depending upon the state in which a lower-income family resides, costs may range from a low of $3,582 to a high of $18.773. The higher end of this scale can make up the majority of a worker’s income if they’re employed full-time in a minimum wage position. For these families, the services of child care assistance programs on the local, state and federal level may be the only way of making such employment financially feasible.
Standalone preschool programs provide young children with essential early childhood education, but may only run for part of the day, which can present a problem for working parents who also need full-time childcare. When there’s more than one child in the family, even full-day preschool programs create the need for multiple stops if there are no daycare facilities for younger children. For many parents, a daycare which also features a preschool program can solve several problems at once, but it’s only truly effective if children are receiving the preschool attention they need in order to thrive. Choosing a daycare with a great preschool program is important, but doing so can be a complicated task for parents who aren’t sure what they should be looking for in a quality program.
Even with a strong sick-child policy in place and all the proper health precautions, children can and often do contract common illnesses in a childcare setting. Because childcare providers tend to spend so much time with the children under their care, having basic knowledge about these common conditions and the ability to spot them can be one of the more reliable methods of early detection. The earlier symptoms of an illness are recognized, the earlier a child can get treatment and be removed from a group childcare setting where he or she may pass the illness along to others.
The primary goal of any quality child care provider is to ensure a safe, healthy environment in which the best interests of enrolled children are protected. Good nutrition is an essential cornerstone of developmental health during early childhood, playing an important role in establishing good dietary habits while protecting fundamental health. Good nutrition aids in physical growth and development, ensures age-appropriate weight gain, supports healthy function of organs and aids in the development of a healthy immune system, so a concerted effort to adhere to basic nutritional guidelines is crucial for all child care providers. In addition to being a moral and ethical obligation, adhering to nutritional guidelines may also be a professional obligation for child care providers in most states.
While the relationship between a nanny and her employers is based largely on trust, it can be a complex one with ample room for dispute. One the most valuable pieces of protection for all involved parties against disagreements and misconduct is a thorough nanny contract, but it’s also one of the most often overlooked. Because nannies can come to feel more like extended family than employees, it’s not uncommon for nannies and their employers to forgo a written contract in favor of a less formal, more personal verbal agreement. Unfortunately, this is a decision which can have far-reaching, negative repercussions in the future. Before entering into a verbal employment agreement, here are ten of the reasons why nannies and employers alike should insist on a nanny contract.
While teething is a painful rite of passage for infants, it can also create a stressful environment for childcare providers. This especially holds true for those who aren’t allowed to administer over-the-counter medications, or choose not to assume the risk of medication for something as non-threatening as teething. Numbing agents like benzocaine are often used in commercial teething gels, and while they can eliminate infants’ discomfort, the numb sensation can easily spread to the rest of the mouth and throat. Throat numbness, in particular, can increase the chances of gagging and choking for small children, which is another reason childcare providers may want to eliminate these products from their medication stores.