Quality Care

FLC-Quality-Care

What to Look for in Quality Child Care

You already know how important it is to find high quality child care. You want your child in the best possible hands and are looking for a place that is dependable and reliable, where your child can reach their fullest potential. But how do you know what to look for? Consider the following important factors when choosing a child care facility for your little one.

Philosophy

Does the center have a philosophy explaining their approach to the care of children, learning and development?

At Family Life Child Care Centers, we allow each child to explore their environment and select materials that stimulate interest and promote growth. The teacher structures the environment by setting up developmentally suitable and stimulating learning centers to increase the child’s interest and arouse his/her curiosity and desire to learn. By participating in classroom orientation, conferences, and observing the classroom teacher, the parent/teacher can strengthen the bond between home and school and offer consistent learning experiences to the child.

License and Accreditation

Does the child care center meet minimum state qualifications or go beyond?

The Family Life Child Care Centers are licensed by the State of Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. Each center’s license and licensing reports are posted and are available upon request from the ODJFS. State licensing rules are available for review at each site.

Additionally, all of our centers go beyond the minimum standards and participate in the following:

  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) which recognizes high quality early childhood programs that provide a safe and nurturing environment while promoting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children. Our Berea and Brook Park centers are accredited by NAEYC. All other Family Life Child Care Centers follow the NAEYC guidelines.
  • The Step Up To Quality program, which recognizes early childhood programs that operate by standards above State licensing requirements.
  • The Universal Pre Kindergarten (UPK) program, a comprehensive, high quality early care and education program for 3-5 year old children that will help them enter school healthy and ready to learn. The Berea, Brook Park, Lakewood and Maple Heights Family Life Child Care Centers have been chosen to participate in this program.

Environment

Does the child care facility offer a safe and stimulating environment?

At Family Life Centers, learning takes place when children are in surroundings where they feel safe and secure. In the classroom, the teachers provide opportunities for learning in an atmosphere of trust and love. Each center allows for children to participate in activities both inside and outside their home classroom with proper supervision. A large, outdoor play area is provided for large muscle play and activities. Activities and materials are chosen to support current levels of growth and encourage higher levels of development.

In addition to environment, Family Life Centers believe that sound nutrition contributes to overall development. For this reason, the center not only follows the appropriate United States Department of Agriculture, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) recommendations, but also provides a menu that is low in refined sugar, salt, and red meat.

Children in the infant and toddler program are presented breakfast, lunch, and two snacks per day. Preschoolers are presented with breakfast, lunch, and one snack per day. Gum and candy do not fit the nutritional guidelines and should be left at home. Menus are available in the center office, and individual classrooms, as well as on our web site here. Parents of children with special nutritional needs, as recommended by their doctor, may bring in additional supplements to supplement their nutrition.

Curriculum

What sort of curriculum does the center follow?

Family Life Centers utilize the nationally recognized Creative Curriculum and the Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum. This curriculum model allows teachers to focus on the “whole” child, and individualize learning. The Creative Curriculum is aligned with the State of Ohio’s Early Learning content standards. A copy of our curriculum is available at each of our centers.

Teacher Qualification

What level of education and training does the staff have?

All Family Life Center site administrators and head teachers have college degrees or a Career Pathways Level III. Additionally, the number of additional training hours staff are required to earn each year is well beyond most state and facility minimums. Family Life Centers also provides staff in-service training throughout the year in the areas of First Aid/CPR, health and safety, child development, recognition of child abuse, communicable diseases, child guidance, multi-cultural experiences, Ohio’s Early Learning Content Standards and curriculum development.

Teacher to Child Ratio

Does the center offer information regarding the number of children being supervised by each adult?

Family Life Centers strive to meet Step Up to Quality and NAEYC top ratio recommendations. All of our centers follow a minimum adult to child ratio of 1:4 or 1:5 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers and 1:10 for preschoolers.

Communication

Does the center welcome parents and communicate with them?

Family Life Centers are committed to providing open communication between parents and teachers. We operate as open centers, and parents are welcomed to drop in and see their children at any time during the day. Additionally, our centers work to provide ongoing information about events and activities in the classroom to parents and guardians. Monthly newsletters are distributed by each center and individual classrooms also provide individual updates. Family Life Centers also encourage teachers and families to stay engaged with each center by holding open houses and other events throughout the year.