Be Child Care Aware! Quality Caregiver Makes Difference; Know What To Look For

Rebecca White, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  8/21/2006 7:18:32 PM

News You Can Use For December 2003

A quality caregiver makes all the difference during the early years of a child’s development, so parents need to look for indications of quality when entrusting their children to others, says LSU AgCenter specialist Dr. Becky White.

"All parents want the very best of care when they have made a decision to seek a child-care provider for their child," White said, adding, "Parents know quality relationships between their children and the children’s caregivers are critical components to ensure the very best care."

To assist in making decisions about quality child care, parents can look for certain personal traits when selecting a caregiver for their child, White advises.

The LSU AgCenter specialist says child-care providers should:

  • Be warm, caring and nurturing.
  • Be responsive to a child's needs, temperament, learning style and interests.
  • Give children in their care their full attention.
  • Be respectful of your child.
  • Model behaviors they want to teach children.
  • Have frequent, meaningful conversations with your child.
  • Talk to your child on his or her level.
  • Be soft spoken. A provider should never scream, yell or raise his or her voice to children.
  • Encourage your child to explore and learn.
  • Be firm in their guidance of your child.
  • Be responsible and trustworthy.
  • Have a background in child care and experience in working with children of different ages.
  • Seek information from you about your child.
  • Respect and support family preferences and values in caregiving behaviors.
  • "Often your child is with his or her child-care provider all day," White says. "It is important that your child has an excellent caregiver."

    The responsibility to select quality child care is a way parents can make a difference in the quality of life for their children – even when the care must be entrusted to others, White says, stressing. "Be sure to consider these traits of a good caregiver when looking for that special person to entrust your child to."

    The LSU AgCenter’s "Be Child Care Aware!" educational program is designed to educate parents and child-care providers about quality child care. It is funded, in part, through a contract with the Louisiana Department of Social Services’ Office of Family Support.

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    Contact: Becky White at (225) 578- or bwhite@agcenter.lsu.edu
    Editor: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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