Choosing Quality Childcare

Learn About Your Options

Florida’s Early Learning and Development Standards for Birth Through Three-Year-Olds

The Standards are an integral part of Florida’s quality early learning system. These Standards describe an age-appropriate understanding to the way young children think, create, and engage in the early learning process. They aid in creating a common vision for children in the State of Florida. The online format allows users easy access to this important information anytime. You may search by age or domain or both. Find useful tips for the classroom and home. Print the Standards for customized classroom use.

Visit http://flbt5.floridaearlylearning.com/ for more details.

As a parent, no decision you make will be more important, or more difficult, than choosing a child care situation that best meets your family’s needs. We are committed to helping parents find answers to their questions regarding how to locate quality childcare and other early care and education concerns.

Begin by visiting several child care homes and centers. Click on these attachments to learn about what to look for in quality child care:

Consider Your Options

Your first question should be “What type of care best meets my child’s needs?”

Family Guide or Selecting Quality Early Learning Programs

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Child Care Checklist

Basics

  • License is displayed.
  • Required staffing ratios are met.
  • Written policies are provided (including discipline policy, expulsion).
  • Group size is small enough to allow individual attention.

Program

  • Daily schedule is posted.
  • Quiet and active play is balanced.
  • Activities are age appropriate and address the child’s needs (physical, emotional, social, developmental).
  • A variety of music is played during the day.
  • The children have opportunities to be read to during each day.
  • Rest/nap policy is reasonable.

Physical Facility

  • The room is bright, cheerful, and clean.
  • Enough space is provided for activities.
  • Children get things themselves.
  • There are enough toys, paints, books, etc. for all children.
  • Equipment (chairs, tables, sinks, toilets) is all child size and in good condition.
  • Safe and well maintained outdoor play area

Health and Safety

  • Emergency contacts are kept on file.
  • Staff members have CPR/First Aid training.
  • Staff members observe safe hygiene (wash hands before and after diapering each child and wiping faces, staff encourage children to use safe hygiene).
  • Staff members change gloves after each diaper change.
  • Diaper changing pads are of non-absorbent material.
  • Infants/toddlers are able to explore the environment safely.

Staff

  • Caregivers have worked there for a year or more.
  • Caregivers appear to enjoy what they do.
  • Positive discipline techniques are used.
  • Children are treated as individuals.
  • Caregivers comfort the children when needed.

Training/Credentials

  • Staff members have participated in ongoing professional development.
  • Lead teachers have CDA Credential or a college degree in early childhood education.
  • Centers have NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) or other accreditation.
  • Family child care providers have NAFCC (National Association for Family Child Care).

Parental Involvement

  • Parents may make surprise visits (open-door policy).
  • Lines of communication between parents and staff are open.
  • Parent participation is encouraged.
  • Parents are notified and provided with a written notification if accidents occur.

General Impression

  • Children and staff seem happy here.
  • I would feel comfortable leaving my child here.
  • I would be happy here as a child.
  • There is a calm and nurturing environment at this facility.
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Our Partners

office of early learning / vpk

 

seminole county gov logo

 

florida prepaid college

 

united way logo

 

seminole state college

Early Learning Coalition of Seminole

280 Hunt Park Cove
Longwood, FL 32750-7567
Phone: 407-960-2460
Fax: 407-960-2489


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