Trusting others with our children is such a difficult thing to do! I recall the days of interviewing babysitters, touring their homes, calling their references, getting to know the family members that would be interacting with my child, while I was at work. Researching family daycares was such a difficult-but necessary thing to do. Of course, I could have made things easier, by placing my child at a daycare facility; but I felt he would have more of a nurturing environment at a home day care, which was important to me, until he turned three.
When the time came, my search for a childcare facility was easier than finding a family daycare facility, because: more adults were around and his first daycare provided the option of a camera in the room, so he could be checked on throughout the day.
Regardless of which type of childcare you choose for your child, as parents you MUST do your research. There have been several stories in the news regarding incidents at family daycare centers in Prince William County alone:
Children were recently left unattended at an unlicensed daycare in the Yorkshire area.
Infants were left in car seats, hidden in closets, etc. in this unlicensed, overcrowded daycare in Dale City. Overcrowded Daycare in Dale City Article
I could add several more unfortunate incidents that occurred at daycares, this year alone, but I’ll digress. Our children are our pride and joy! They are precious glimpses of GOD that must be protected. Parents need to be educated on what to look for, when selecting childcare for their children.
Here are some resources provided by the Department of Social Services that can help you make an educated decision, when selecting childcare:
1. Determine if you want your child in a licensed or unlicensed daycare. Licensed daycares have: a limited amount of children they can accept, can participate in FDA food programs, can qualify for income tax credits, caretakers are provided on-going training, facilities are inspected regularly, caretakers have to go through a licensing process in order to operate. Unlicensed family day facilities, that are voluntarily registered cannot have more than 6 children at a time-including their family. Visit here for more information: Link for Voluntary Registered Family Daycare Facilities.
2. When looking for daycare, visit this site, Child care search site, Virginia Department of Social Services Childcare Site. Using this tool, you can pull up licensed daycare facilities in your area, and also see if the facility has any violations.
3. If your child is already in a licensed daycare, check that site on a regular basis, to see if they accrue any violations.
4. The Virginia Department of Social Services provides a Guide for Parent’s to use as a resource for finding a suitable daycare facility for their child(ren). Parent's Guide.
I hope these resources are helpful to someone reading this blog. If you have additional
resources, you'd like to share, or perhaps a daycare you'd like to recommend, please share via
comment. The more information we can share with one another, the better. Be engaged with
your children, be involved in their education, be aware of what they are doing while you are at
work, be the one who does their research, Be A Singular Sensation!