Child Care: Qualifications for Providers

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Child Care: Qualifications for Providers

Topic Overview

Experts recommend that child care providers be educated and well-trained.1 Specific recommendations vary by position and type of child care facility. In general, seek caregivers who are trained in child care issues as well as educated in child growth and development. Directors should have a university degree, have experience in child care, and provide ongoing training opportunities for all staff.

Ask the following questions about the child care providers of group care facilities:

Education level and training

  • What are the education and training requirements for staff members? What childhood development classes or certifications are required?
  • Are children who have special needs enrolled in the facility? If so, what kind of special training do staff members have?
  • Are staff encouraged to continue their child care education by attending workshops and lectures?
  • Are staff trained in general health care practices?
  • Are staff members certified in basic first aid and emergency care? Does at least one staff member have advanced first aid training?

General background and personality

  • Have all staff members had a thorough background check, including fingerprinting?
  • How do staff handle children's difficult behaviour?
  • Are staff members sensitive to the needs and abilities of shy children? Are staff members willing to let me help my child transition to a new routine?
  • Can I observe for a while? (It should be obvious from watching the children that they enjoy being with the staff.)

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. (2002). Caring for Our Children—National Health and Safety Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs, 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised November 22, 2010

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