In a world where 2 income families are prevalent, a most important question is child care. Does one hire a nanny, shift to a single income family, or bring the child into a day care facility close to work? Unfortunately, there is no national standard for child care for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Some local states have agencies that go around checking for gross violations on child care facilities, predominantly safety issues but that’s about all that is being done. Child care facilities are privately owned and managed and states like New Hampshire, Wyoming, Indiana, Hawaii and others do not use public funds for public pre-school facilities.

Understanding the Difference Between Preschool and Day Care

If you are thinking of sticking to the status quo income-wise, your 3 options are to hire a private nanny, day care, or preschool. Did you know that preschools will only take children who can do academic work? This starts as early as 2.5 years old while the day care accepts infants and does not offer an education rather entertainment and care.

Other interesting facts about child care are:

• In Missouri and Louisiana, corporal punishment of toddlers is allowed. This means discipline tactics that you may not approve of like spanking
• Not all preschools are licensed so if you want to make sure, you should make it a point to check the local state database on licensed preschool centers
• According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 35% of children get better care in a center-based care facility than they do at home with non-parent care like relatives watching over the children or a private nanny
• Children in day care and preschool are more at risk for illness and certain health issues including head lice

Recently, two women in a child care center in Newark were charged with cruelty and neglect. There were video evidence of the women instigating physical confrontations among the children. This story is real and harsh – and it is happening around the country on different levels. Poor child care is what you should be careful to avoid when picking the facility to bring your child. According to a 2007 study conducted by the National Institute for Child Health Development, only 10% of the child care providers received a “high quality” grade.

Assuming that the child care facility checks out, has a current license, and an excellent reputation the other aspect parents should consider is the kind of indoctrination that may be present in the facility, if any. What are the staff teaching the children? In short, don’t just look at the amenities and credentials of the place and staff, try to get into the mindset of the staff. Or better yet, find a child care center that is run by the people who have similar values to yours. You can uncover this with a simple interview and chat with the people in charge and the ones who will handle your child directly.

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