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The Staff At Licensed Day Care Centers Are Not The Same As Babysitters

10.25.2011 · Posted in Family Articles

When it comes to taking on an important responsibility, there can be nothing as serious as that of caring for someone else’s children. Providing basic care, nurturing, and individual attention, while teaching an age-appropriate academic program and basic social skills is a job not for the faint of heart. As parents, we teach, care for and love one or a few of our own children. What must is be like to have those same responsibilities for a classroom of perhaps twenty?rnrnMost states regulate child day care centers closely. State Human Services or Child Welfare agencies are responsible for monitoring and licensing these facilities and consider them businesses like any other; they are in the business of care. Applicants for staff positions in day care facilities must meet minimum requirements tantamount to those required for public school teachers. It is common to find a staff member with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in these licensed care centers sitting on the floor with a bunch of two-year-olds. There are even specialists in age appropriate education techniques for the infants in the care of the day care center.rnrnIn addition to highly educated staff, there is also likely to be a contingent of younger workers who may often seem not much older than their young charges. Daycare is a vocation which seems to attract young women and many of them take college classes part time while spending the rest of the day utilizing the skills they are learning. Young children seem to enjoy these student-teachers, as they have the youth and energy to play along with them. Gross motor skills are allowed to develop in the company of staff who run and jump and dance right along with the kids!rnrnThe requirements for licensing in most states also demand a criminal background check. Not all illegal activities will cause the licensing agency to throw an applicant out of the running, but certainly a conviction of a violent crime or any concerning child endangerment will cause a red flag to be raised and would bar the applicant from working in any licensed day care center in the state. The agency will also closely inspect state police records and may even require fingerprinting to check against FBI records. Even volunteers must undergo a background check so parents can be assured that the sweet little granny rocking their kids to sleep is not a Ma Barker in disguise.rnrnA wise parent will always take the time to investigate any day care center they are considering for the care of their children. Thorough Interviews of the teachers and administrative staff must be undertaken as well as a thorough physical inspection of the center under consideration. A parent should have an idea of how their child may interact with the other kids. The classroom staff should also undergo thorough interviews to help determine if their child suits the program of the center.rnrnA majority of state Child Welfare agencies have data available to the public, just as the Better Business Bureau does for businesses. Lots of them have hotlines that can be used to find out whether complaints have been made regarding a specific day care center, and the center’s particular licensing agent should be able to answer all questions concerned with operation of the day center under their purview. The day care center itself should be happy to refer a parent to a person within the licensing bureau who can answer whatever questions they may have.rnrnWhen a group of people take on the awesome responsibility of caring for the children of others, they must take this responsibility very seriously. The majority of licensed day care centers understand this concept very well and go all out to hire and keep educated employees whose characters are above reproach. A parent’s ability to investigate the center and verify information regarding a specific facility that has the responsibility for their child will help the nervous parent feel much better about leaving their beloved offspring in the hands of others.

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