Submitted by Kids ‘R’ Kids of Atlanta, GA.
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With more of today’s mothers returning to work within the first year of their babies’ lives, it has become ever more important for parents to make good choices about childcare for their infant. This is a difficult decision as there are often many choices to consider: Do you prefer care in your home, care in someone else’s home, or care in a childcare or early education center? What about considerations of costs involved, as well as the psychological issues of leaving ones’ beloved baby with someone else?
Here are 3 important factors to take into consideration when choosing a quality childcare. The considerations mentioned are based on the primary developmental needs of your little one.
The most important developmental task of a child’s first year of life is forming a sense of attachment to the primary caregivers. Naturally the baby’s parents are the primary caregivers, but so is the individual in the infant childcare arrangement you select. Forming a sense of mutual attachment lies at the foundation of all other development – healthy personality, social and emotional development, as well as the language and cognitive development in early years. This means that you are looking for an individual who understands that quality infant childcare relies on forming a close relationship with the baby, as well as supporting the strong attachment between infant and parents.
Continuity of childcare – repeated experiences with the same people over time – is something that you should look for, whether in a home arrangement or in a daycare, childcare or early learning center. It is important to assess whether the caregivers have been there for a while and are likely to remain. Many quality childcare programs now also institute patterns of primary care giving, meaning that one adult is primarily responsible for the care and communication with a small group of infants and their families. Primary care giving arrangements allow caregivers to tune in to individual needs, facilitating attachment and relationships.
Continuity of care and primary care giving arrangements are best placed at the top of the list of your requirements. Babies thrive on responsive care–having their individual needs recognized and met by their caregivers in a prompt, predictable way. Questions about feeding and sleeping schedules should elicit responses indicating that your child’s individual needs will be the driving force behind a personal schedule in the early months, and later individualized planning will support children’s and family needs.
Caregivers who are knowledgeable about child development will understand how their childcare interactions not only support a sense of trust but also embed the stimulation needed for early brain development. It takes very special people to become involved in warm, nurturing childcare relationships with babies and their parents and also provide the interesting environments that support healthy foundations for early learning. Take the time to assess the emotional climate and relationships in the places you consider for your baby’s care. As it is one of the most important decisions you can make.
Kids ‘R’ Kids believes that happy, loved, connected children are destined for success in every facet of their lives. Our most cherished principle, “Hug First, Then Teach,” defines every aspect of who we are at Kids ‘R’ Kids. When it comes to teaching, Kids ‘R’ Kids understands the importance of involving families with their child’s developmental milestones and accomplishments. We hope you will drop by for a tour at one of our many locations in the Atlanta area.