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What qualities should you look for in a child care provider?

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Children thrive in stable, predictable and loving homes. These essential traits are equally true for what they need in a child care environment.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, preschoolers of employed mothers spend an average of 36 hours per week in child care. That means who they’re with really matters.

What should you look for in your child care provider? Here are a few qualities:

Patience — Toddlers need lots of practice time and repetition. Some tasks a provider could easily complete in a few seconds will take toddlers much longer. Allowing toddlers the time to learn at their own pace is essential.

Respectfulness — Whether parent, child or coworker, how a provider interacts with others speaks volumes. People need to be appreciated for their own uniqueness and without any form of bias.

Acceptance — Actions in the classroom speak loudly. They should make a child feel understood and appreciated. Behaviors children see are a blueprint for their own interactions with each other.

Attentiveness — There’s a difference between talking with children and talking at them. Listening and understanding their struggles helps them feel valued and important.

Creativity — Imagination blooms easily in toddlers and school-aged children. Providers should embrace activities that stretch thinking and explore children’s creativity.

Calmness — In dealing with children, a provider should be able to control their emotions and actions in appropriate ways despite the circumstances. Calmness can stabilize emotional or behavioral situations, which are common in young children.

Professionalism — Child care is serious business. Providers should be up to date on developments in child care, plan a constructive curriculum, and actively pursue ways to enhance the experiences of children in their care.

Learn more about child care quality at
ABC Quality is the go-to resource for South Carolina parents who want to recognize quality child care. It is a program that is administered by the Division of Early Care and Education of the SC Department of Social Services. Visit the website to learn about more childhood development including nutrition, brain development and more. Search for a child care provider or learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system, ABC Quality.

Finding top quality child care providers and centers is easier with the help of ABC Quality. See how your provider — or a provider you’re considering — measures on the scale of high quality experiences for your child.

By ABC Quality Team on November 15, 2016