For kids, a good after school program in Olney, MD, may mean that they feel accepted for who they are, no matter their abilities or where they come from. It means having friends and caring people, feeling mentally and physically safe, and having the chance to do lots of fun, interesting, and challenging things.
Most parents think that good child care in Olney, MD, protects their child’s health and safety, keeps the child happy, and is easy to get to and inexpensive. For many parents, getting good child care is a key part of handling work and family so that parents can work without worrying about their kids.
Other parents might say that a high-quality program includes things that help kids get ready for school, like pre- or early-reading or learning to count, or that focuses on learning social skills, like how to work together. Or, they might say that a good setting respects their family’s customs and child’s skills. Or, parents might say that high-quality child care is a place where their child is happy, gets friends, has interesting and good experiences, and learns about many different things.
Even though there is no single meaning of “quality” in child care, some things are known to be important to the health and happiness of children. Quality school age programs in Olney, MD, should help your child grow in all areas: socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
As soon as you enter the room, you will sense it. First impressions are crucial in this circumstance. Does your youngster appear to find it to be a lively, tidy, enjoyable space? Verify that the setting is comfortable, inclusive, and representative of the variety of children in the center. Check to see if each stage has a suitable environment. Does the baby room, for instance, provide enough space on the floor for newborns who need to practice crawling or for tummy time? Or do the older children have workstations or tables for crafts or coloring?
Take note of the kids. Are they content and involved? Do they have access to a variety of projects and activities? Do they appear receptive and at ease with the caregivers? Examine the methods used to encourage kids to investigate their surroundings. Can they make decisions on their own? Also, seek proof that young children’s thoughts and interests are honored and considered. Do you notice any examples of the kids playing and having fun?
You can certainly see your child there when you’re feeling very positive about the surroundings: sitting at the pretend kitchen sink, chatting with another youngster, or crawling around on the foam mats looking for a book to read or, you know, something to eat.
The more caregivers there are to help, the better. You want to see a lot of adults taking care of each group of kids. And ideally, you would have the same people taking care of you daily. Being consistent for your child’s happiness and health goes a long way.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children has a helpful chart that shows the suggested numbers for each age group and group size. When there are eight or fewer babies under 15 months old in a group, the number should be 1:4. The recommended ratio for toddlers up to 2.5 years old in groups of 10 or less is 1:4, and the recommended ratio for preschoolers up to 4 years old in groups of 10 or less is 1:6.
The legal state requirement is licensing, and accreditation sets a higher standard. Being licensed is a condition that must be met to operate a daycare in any state. However, it is entirely up to you and may depend on what is offered in your region whether a wonderful childcare facility must also be certified.
State licensing authorities certify that the center is secure and follows all rules and regulations. Private accreditation organizations assess institutions using a wide variety of criteria that can be highly precise. Remember that certification is not a guarantee of high-quality child care.
Make sure the caregivers have the certifications and training they need. Most should have at least two years of college under their belts and a degree in early childhood development or be in the process of getting one. They should also know how to do CPR and what to do in any other situation.
You can learn a lot just by watching when it comes to the things that can’t be seen or touched. Listen to how the caregivers talk to the kids and watch how they move. Look for ones who talk to kids respectfully and at their eye level. Even in rooms for babies and toddlers, parents want to hear important talks and a respectful tone of voice, not an authoritative tone, a lot of orders, or a lot of “no.”
How comfortable do you feel with the adults caring for the kids? Are they willing to talk to and work with you to care for and teach your children? If so, you’ll know you’re looking in the right way.
The best centers have detailed operational procedures written down and well-established. These regulations range from very insignificant guidelines, such as when they have circle time, to more important guidelines, such as managing ill children or emergency circumstances. You don’t want to go somewhere so rigid that you can’t do things for your child, like prepare a special dinner, but you also don’t want to go somewhere that is so lax with their rules and standards that it might be confusing or uncomfortable.
Great places go above and beyond to ensure the kids are safe. This includes making sure the house is safe for kids, making sure food is safe, having a well-kept play area with sets of toys, making sure none of them have been recalled, and always keeping an eye on the kids. Other things that show how a center puts safety first are toys in good working condition, no cleaning supplies left within reach of kids, safety outlet covers, and more.
The everyday lives of parents and children can be improved by selecting a reputable Olney child care center. Parents and caregivers must commit to and develop a close working connection to ensure high-quality child care. There are several care qualities and viewpoints on the best setting for kids. The greatest daycares include all of the qualities mentioned above and those on your personal wish list, especially those that make you feel confident and content about leaving your kid there each day.
MCCA has been recognized by the Maryland State Legislature for its commitment to Montgomery County issued a quality programs and special needs child care Proclamation in 2016 to MCCA for its commitment to Montgomery County child care for more than 50 years. MCCA was also selected as a 2018 nonprofit finalist for a MOXIE Award for boldness and innovation
MCCA is the oldest nonprofit licensed child care provider in Montgomery County and started its work in 1968 as a Community Action Project of the War on Poverty. Recognizing the need for quality child care programs in their neighborhoods, a group of local activists formed an association to establish centers in Montgomery County that would serve a diverse population and establish high standards for child care. Now, more than 50 years later, MCCA’s dedicated and expertly trained staff continue their tradition of providing high quality child care and play-based education for children.
Families with school aged children who can afford their child care expenses during the school year often struggle to afford the all-day programs they need when school is out for the summer. The Richard Krampf Summer Adventures Scholarship Fund was established to help provide children a safe and stimulating place to spend their weeks when school is out. Please contact an MCCA Director for details on how to apply.