Many children spend a large part of their days away from their parents. Parents have to rely on educators to help guide their children through the various stages of their development. This is why finding the right after school care for your child is as important as choosing the correct school for their educational development. As a parent, you spend a lot of time creating an environment that helps your child develop academically and emotionally. It is important that the after school program your child is involved in reinforces the values taught at home.
Here are three questions to ask when choosing after school care for your child.
Is The Facility Licensed?
When working with young children it is important to make sure that all the necessary care has been taken to provide for their safety. The first way a childcare facility can do this is to ensure that they meet the standards set by the Department of Children and Families. The Department is responsible for overseeing the licensing of Florida based daycare providers.
Before issuing a childcare license, the Department sends an inspector to make sure that the childcare institution meets the relevant standards. These include considerations of emergency preparedness plans, food and nutrition, and even lighting and air-conditioning and heating systems.
Although the licensing of after school care programs differ from state-to-state, the facility should have the required license before opening its doors. The fact that the facility took the time to commit to the application process and successfully completed it, is an indication that they value the care they provide the children they are entrusted with.
A licensed childcare facility is more likely to provide your child with high-quality care because it is held accountable by the state and local government, providing additional peace of mind to parents.
What Is On The Schedule?
It’s important to check that the after school facility has a set schedule or program and that it is similar or compliments the one your child has been exposed to at home. Doing this before enrolling your child is important as it can make your child’s adjustment to the environment easier and can further encourage your child’s emotional development.
Having a consistent schedule shows that the childcare facility understands the importance of routine in early childhood development. The schedule followed by the school should aim to promote the emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being of your child. It should incorporate time for play and homework that is appropriate for your child’s age.
The after school provider’s schedule should also meet your needs as a parent. Working parents might need their child to attend the facility during holiday seasons too. Enrolling your child with a provider that is closed during school holidays can make scheduling care for your child during this time difficult and can even end up costing you more when provisions need to be made for your child’s care during holiday seasons.
Is The Environment Safe For My Child?
Your child needs a healthy and safe environment to develop well.
A healthy environment includes the facility itself as well as the values encouraged by the school. When choosing an after school provider, ensure that it has appropriate indoor and outdoor play facilities that are hazard-free. There should also be appropriate procedures in place in cases of emergency, this includes having trained staff to administer first aid to your child.
Parents should also consider the staff to child ratio at the facility. Having a low teacher to child ration is ideal as it allows for your child to develop a meaningful relationship with their teacher. A low ratio also contributes to a safer environment because the teacher is able to watch over children more intently.
At Parkland Children’s Academy, your child’s development is a priority. Contact us today to find out how our trained staff and our expertly designed program can help your child achieve their development goals.