More About Child Care
care helps your child’s development, whether your
child is an infant, a toddler or a preschooler.
Infant and toddler child care should be based on a close,
caring relationship between one or two caregivers and
your child. Studies show that infants and toddlers do
best when they have the same caregivers over time. Close
relationships help them feel secure.
Child care for preschoolers should not look or feel like
school. There should be some group time, such as circle
time, meals and outdoor play. There should also be plenty
of free time for preschoolers to explore interesting materials
and activities on their own.
Checklist for Infant and Toddler Child Care
- Does the provider hold and cuddle the
- Does the provider always put babies to
sleep on their backs?
- Does she respond to the needs and interests
of the children, rather than making them fit into
- Is the setting uncluttered and free from
chaos and loud noise?
- Is the setting for infants calm and soothing,
without glaring lights that can hurt an infant’s
- Is the center divided into small, intimate
- Are toddlers allowed to make choices?
For example, can they choose when to nap or what
toys to play with?
- Is the provider trained in infant and
Caregivers who care for infants and toddlers
should care for no more than 6 children, with
no more than 3 infants. An infant or toddler child
care group is like a family. The children should
be in small groups, and each group should have
its own caregiver and space. Call Child Care Connection.
Things You Can Do
Where to Find Help
Checklist for Preschooler Child Care
- Do the providers respond to the children’s
interests and needs?
- Do they talk with the children and encourage
- Do caregivers and children talk to each
other with kind words and smiles?
- Do the caregivers give kind, clear and
consistent messages to the children about behavior?
- Is there a large play space where children
can build and move things, run and jump?
- Is there sand, wood chips or rubber under
the play equipment, not grass or cement?
- Is there a place where children can do
arts and crafts and play quiet games?
- Is there a quiet place for resting and
- Are chairs, tables and equipment child-sized?
- Are there many kinds of toys, playthings
and art supplies? Do they fit the ages of the
Caregivers for preschoolers ages 3 to 5 should
care for only 6 to 12 children, depending on the
type of license. A preschool center should offer
small and large group activities, as well as free
time for children to explore on their own. To
find a preschool, call Child Care Connection.