Episode 9: Rebekah Donovan (Child Care Centers)

14 Dec 2013 by Developing Courage, 1 Comment »
Rebekah Donovan & cutie

Rebekah Donovan & cutie

Have you looked at the baseboards of your child care center lately?  Maybe you should…and Rebekah Donovan has some other hot tips for you too.  Rebekah, who once took an empty shell of a building and turned it into a thriving, happy place for children and workers to spend their days- great curriculum and all- schools us about what to look for when you’re looking for child care and preschool programs. Rebekah explains the “why not?” approach to conflict resolution between parents, staff, and therapists that make up the child care ecosystem and provides a top ten checklist of ways to know if your potential or existing placement is not only up to par but exceptional.  We all want our kids to have the best of care when they’re not with us.  Whether you’re newly pregnant (yes, we said newly for a reason), have never set foot in a child care center before but need to now, or are just wondering if you made the right choice, this episode is for you.





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Rebekah’s top ten questions to ask your child care provider:

1) Do they have Child and Adult Care Food Program?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CACFP.  (we didn’t go into much detail about this on the show, but in general it could mean free or reduced lunch and better monitoring of what the kids are eating while they’re there)

2) What is the child to teacher ratio?

3) What is the cleaning policy for the physical structure and also toys? (be sure to check out the lower boards and baseboard on tour, as that’s the level where the kids are and will tell you whether cleaning is thorough)

4) Ask to see licensing paperwork/when was the last inspection?

5) Do a check for toys (are they clean?  are they broken?) and baby containers (an abundance of swings, saucers, walkers, etc. may mean that workers don’t spend enough time on the floor with the babies- these are also not good for development in large doses)

6) How does the center handle parent conflicts?

7) Is there a schedule for the day?  What is it?  Is the intended schedule what is actually happening when you do a drop in visit?

8) Do they have an open door policy?

9) What is the discipline policy?

10) What are the teacher requirements/ credentials?  Are the teachers responsive to you when you visit?  Do they seem happy?

Bonus question: If you are the parent of a special needs child, call first to see if there is an open spot.  If yes, THEN tell them of the child’s diagnosis or other relevant development information.

General links: 

Common core standards: http://www.corestandards.org/

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One Comment

  1. […] a child ready for Kindergarten beyond the ABCs and 123s.  You’ve heard from Rebekah before (Episode 9) when she used past experience to tell us what makes for a great child care center.  Now […]

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