Fredericksburg Parent

February 2020

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20 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2020 20 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • February 2020 How to Choose the Day Care for Your Children When it comes to leaving children with a day care provider, parents want to be assured that their little ones are in the best of hands. So, what should moms and dads keep in mind when searching for day care? And how will they know if the facility is the perfect fit for them? First off, there are two types of day care providers: out- of-home care (day care centers) and in-home care, or family-based care, in a private home. While Virginia does not require that all child day care programs be licensed, parents should consider placing their children with a day care provider that is licensed or accredited. They can start with a quick Internet search with the Virginia Department of Social Services at Licensed day care programs are inspected at least twice a year and it is required that all providers undergo background checks and training. Licensed day care facilities are also inspected for health and safety measures. In addition, providers must hold CPR and First Aid certifications. During their initial day care research, parents should also check to see if a licensed day care center has been found in violation of any of these inspections and should be wary of any program that has repeated violations. The next step is to visit any potential facility, whether it is a day care center or a private in-home day care provider. Moms and dads should plan to stay and observe for at least 30 minutes or more to get a feel for the place. "Parents should be able to tour facilities at any time, and not be restricted to certain times of the day," points out Rachel Wilson, a teacher and child care provider with Wiggle Worms, a day care center in Fredericksburg that offers hourly services (see sidebar). WRITTEN BY BRANDY CENTOLANZA Right

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