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Did you know that there are certification and accreditation programs for child care facilities, both home-based and center-based? This is a consideration for many perspective clients because many times they do not know what to ask or what to expect when seeking a child care facility. Accredited facilities go through a rigorous qualification process that looks at both the business operations and the program.

Does this mean that only center-based child care can provide a quality program? Certainly not! The requirements are the same in nearly all cases for center and home based care givers. A center may choose NOT to seek accreditation and still have a good program, but an accredited facility meets or exceeds guidelines for safety, curriculum, and financial responsibility.

Why is the accreditation concerned with business operations? Well, a properly run business is one that has a good chance of being around for a while. Without sound business practices and reporting, stability of an organization are affected, which, could draw focus from the primary goal of child development.

Having good business practices also means the provider has adequate resources for the children. Having a wide selection of age-appropriate toys that are in good working order is important for your child’s development. Children go through many stages as they grow, there should be plenty of toys that stimulate, challenge, and hold the attention and interest of children.

The provider should also provide a structure that allows the children to learn self-confidence and develop curiosity while preparing for entry into the school system. Pre-math and reading skills can be learned at a very early age and are deeper that knowing the alphabet and counting to ten. Success in school comes when the child is prepared and eager, both intellectually and socially.

Don’t overlook accreditation, and don’t think that only centers go through the rigorous process in an effort to provide the best possible program for your child.