Category Archives: Child Care

Interviewing a Child Care Provider — 8 Questions to Ask to Keep Your Child Safe

[Note: This is a Sponsored Guest Post contributed by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool ahead of a new center opening at National Landing.]

 

You want to find the best child care option for your child while ensuring health and safety. Choosing a provider is a major decision under normal circumstances; finding child care during a pandemic means there are a whole host of additional things to consider and evaluate. Whether you’re interviewing a private nanny, occasional sitter, or child care center, ask these eight questions.

1. What COVID-19 protocols do you have in place?
If you’re looking at a child care center, be sure to ask questions that will make you feel more comfortable, such as:

  • Do you perform daily health screens — including temperature checks — on parents, children, and staff?
  • Are teachers and staff required to wear masks?
  • Are group sizes reduced and kept consistent?
  • Does the center have specific cleaning, sanitizing, and hand-washing practices throughout the day and after the center closes each night?

And if you’re considering a private provider, gauge their stance on all of the above, too.

2. Do you have current first aid and CPR training certifications?
When it comes to finding child care that you trust, you’ll want to double check that the provider holds first aid and CPR certifications, and that they’re renewed on a regular basis. Just in case the unthinkable happens, you want your child to be in good, capable hands.

3. How do you handle cleaning and sanitizing?
Today, these two practices are critical. Nannies and sitters don’t typically handle housekeeping duties, but they should be willing to clean up anything that happens under their watch (think: spilled liquids, any bodily fluids, or any meal-related mess). Plus, you’ll probably want them to disinfect surfaces that they come into contact with while they’re in your home. At a child care center, you’ll want to make sure strict cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting policies are followed for toys, cots, bedding, surfaces, diapering areas and bathrooms, and other things that everyone touches, like doorknobs and light switches. Ask about any additional protocols they’ve implemented in response to the pandemic, and make sure the provider you choose will help teach your child good hygiene practices in an effective and age-appropriate way.

4. What are your outdoor policies?
When it’s time to go outside, make sure the provider has weather-appropriate policies — your child should have sunscreen on, be dressed for the weather in appropriate clothing and footwear, and have access to shade and drinking water. Plus, you’ll want to make sure physical distancing guidelines are followed — if you’re looking at a center, do they restrict access to outdoor spaces to one group at a time?

5. What do you do when a child misbehaves?
Find out how the provider handles discipline. All children make mistakes, and you want to ensure the provider uses positive techniques — such as redirection, guidance, conflict resolution, and constructive discussions — that will help prevent problematic behavior in the future.

6. How do you address children’s unique needs?
Does your child have a severe food allergy? Allergic to bee stings? Your provider should be trained on how to use an EpiPen and other necessary medication, should feel comfortable acting in case of an emergency, and have a solid escalation plan, if necessary.

7. Have you ever had to deal with a child care emergency? What did you do?
The answer to this question will give you a feel for how the provider might act under pressure in a potentially scary situation. Listen for things like, “called 911,” “called poison control,” “called parents,” “performed the Heimlich maneuver,” and more.

8. What is the policy for sick or mildly ill children?
If your child spikes a fever or gets the stomach bug under the provider’s care, you want to make sure that he or she will be kept comfortable and tended to until you can come home or pick up. Ensure that the provider is willing to administer medication when necessary. What is the child care center’s exclusion policy, for both children and staff, should someone test positive for COVID-19?

 

Finding a child care provider who will keep your child healthy and safe is critical for your little one’s wellbeing, and your peace of mind. Ask these eight questions during the interview process to make sure you find a provider you can trust.

Enhanced Health & Safety Protocols at Bright Horizons
Learn about the enhanced measures we’ve put in place at our centers across the country. And for a full checklist of questions to ask as you evaluate child care, download our health and safety child care checklist for parents.

To learn about enrollment opportunities at our newest location, Bright Horizons at National Landing, call 703-647-1181 today!

Bright Horizons at National Landing
3550 South Clark Street
Suite 100 
Arlington VA 22202
[email protected]
www.facebook.com/BHatNationalLanding

 

This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.

 

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Filed under Child Care, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Daycare, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Virginia

Bright Horizons at Ballston Opening Early 2020!


Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool is excited to announce a brand new child care center: Bright Horizons at Ballston. Located in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington, VA, the new center will be opening in early 2020 and is now accepting registrations for enrollment. The center will have classrooms for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and will be open year-round.

Bright Horizons knows working parents and is ready to be your partner in parenting with amenities and features designed to make life easier for busy modern families.
· Snacks and a catered lunch included in your tuition
· Dedicated drop-off and pick-up parking, as well as car seat and stroller storage
· On-site playground and an indoor Movement Zone with structured health and wellness curriculum
· A secure app which delivers real time updates about your child’s day straight to your mobile device



Are you wondering what makes Bright Horizons curriculum different? They believe that children are natural scientists, inventors, and explorers, so teachers build on the children’s interests to make learning meaningful and fun! With a play-based, emergent curriculum set in our beautifully appointment learning environments Bright Horizons aims to capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life.

There are lots of ways to learn more about Bright Horizons at Ballston. Visit the center website at brighthorizons.com/ballston. Like and follow the center on Facebook to stay up to date on center events and activities. Or contact an enrollment specialist at (571) 397-3933 to learn more about the registration process and how Bright Horizons can be a part of your family’s education journey.


This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, 2020, Babies, Child Care, Daycare, Educational, Preschoolers, Schools, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays

Why Choose Bright Horizons Preschool?


Choosing a preschool is a big decision, and it’s one you want to feel great about. You want your child to be happy, to make friends, and to learn the academic and social skills needed for kindergarten. Plus, a location and schedule that’s convenient for you also helps.

Learn how parents found the right mix of curriculum, teachers, environment, and convenience with Bright Horizons in this video and then find a center near you and schedule a personal visit.


This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool®, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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10 Reasons Why KinderCare is a Top Daycare Option in the DMV and NOVA


[Note: This is a sponsored Guest Post contributed by the staff at KinderCare Learning Centers.]

As a DMV or NOVA family, your Instagram feed likely has a shot (or 10) of your child under the cherry blossom trees on the National Mall or gallivanting around the Smithsonian. But raising a child in the District is about more than these photo-worthy moments. It’s also about giving your child plenty of chances to explore and learn at their own pace — and joining a childcare community that feels just right for your family.

Of course, just finding care can be a challenge in the DC area. There aren’t nearly enough childcare spaces for all the babies and toddlers that call the area home. Luckily, KinderCare Learning Centers recently opened more centers to help meet the need, including the South Riding center in Chantilly and two brand-new centers at Penn Quarter and the Watergate building.

An early childhood education company that’s been at it for 50 years, KinderCare is laser focused on what children growing up today need to be ready for kindergarten — and beyond. “Studies show that children who 
attend high-quality programs are 
better prepared for school, have higher high school graduation rates, and even have better long-term health,” says Dr. Elanna Yalow, KinderCare Education’s chief academic officer.

How does that translate into great centers for children? Take a look!

1. Every child should have space to thrive.
When children enter a KinderCare center, they know it’s designed just for them—because it is! Each classroom is filled with toys at kid-eye level and places where tots can create, express themselves, play, and pretend. It’s also a “print-rich environment”: Books are readily available and words are everywhere, which help plant the seeds for strong literacy skills. It’s a perfect place for busy toddlers whose personalities are just beginning to emerge (sometimes with gusto)!

2. Creativity means more than drawing inside the lines.
While writing on the walls probably isn’t something parents want to encourage at home (unless they invest in some whiteboard paint), children have plenty of opportunities to express their creative side at KinderCare! For little ones, painting and drawing this fuels creativity, builds fine-motor skills, develops symbolic thinking, and creates a sense of community and ownership in the classroom when children see their masterpieces hanging on the walls.

3. Books are within easy reach of little hands.
No tall bookcases here! Placing books within easy reach makes reading super accessible — and that encourages book love. Instead of waiting for an adult to bring a book over, kids can initiate story time all on their own. When they’re little, KinderCare teachers teach children how to be gentle with books and treat them kindly. Teachers also know that one way kids learn to read is by associating simple written words with objects. So, in KinderCare classrooms, teachers label things like chairs and tables to give children a head start on their ABCs.

4. We like to play pretend.
ROAR! Playing with animal toys lets kids make new sounds and play pretend. Also known as dramatic play, playing pretend helps children work on problem-solving and social-emotional skills like cooperation — and it’s also tons of fun! When an adult is playing with a child, it’s important to get down to the child’s eye level (like KinderCare teachers do) to help them connect.

5. There’s no right way to play.
KinderCare teachers let kids play their own way. That’s why there’s plenty of unstructured play time into the day. Toys and learning materials in classrooms are open-ended (with multiple uses) so kids can explore their imaginations. Who says trucks have to roll? Putting a car on a toy scale helps children learn about cause and effect, and other foundational math and science concepts. (And they don’t even know they’re doing some Capital “L” Learning!)

6. Take time to craft outside the box.
Sometimes there’s no such thing as too much glue! Part of being a great artist is doing what you want and not playing by the rules. In art activities, KinderCare teachers provide children with lots of different materials and let them decide how they want to be creative. This kind of independent thinking builds critical — thinking skills and self-reliance. In KinderCare classrooms, kids are encouraged to think outside the box. It’s all about the process, not the product.

7. Eat your fruits and veggies.
She thinks she’s just playing grocery store, but she’s also learning about healthy eating through dramatic play. But KinderCare centers have more than just pretend fruits and veggies in their centers! Their Nutrition and Wellness philosophy makes it all the way to kids’ plates, where meals are accompanied by fruits, veggies, and whole grains. KinderCare centers never serve a drop of juice because fruit is sweet enough to eat.

8. Caring for each other is key.
When children pretend to take care of a baby, they’re actually developing critical social skills that will help them become kind and empathetic friends later on. That’s why everyone at KinderCare believes in nurturing kindness in all kids, starting from day one. Each center has plenty of baby dolls, toys, and learning materials that represent all children—it’s okay to play with whatever you want, whoever you are!

9. Yes — you can do it!
Developing fine-motor skills starts with simple toys — exactly what kids need when they’re just learning to solve problems and get those oh-so-cute little fingers to do what they want. Though they may seem “easy,” simple toys teach little kids that they can take on a challenge — and succeed. By working through the toy with an adult by their side who can ask questions like “What color goes next?” and “Which one fits?”, children also develop important language and literacy skills.

10. When in doubt, act it out.
Kids have big feelings—and sometimes those feelings can be tough to cope with. Enter the family of adorable classroom puppets, who make everything just a little less personal. If a child is having a hard time learning a behavior used in a social situation (sharing, for example), puppets are a great tool to help kids understand without making them feel bad. KinderCare teachers also use puppets to help kids learn how to manage and express their feelings in a positive way. Each KinderCare center has lots of puppets for teachers to use as tools for learning and storytelling — but when teachers aren’t using them, they’re available for kids to play with whenever they want.

To learn more about KinderCare Learning Centers, visit them online at www.KinderCare.com, on Facebook or on Twitter. For resources, information, and activity ideas for parents and teachers of young children, visit the KinderCare Blog.


This post is sponsored by KinderCare Learning Centers, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Babies, Child Care, Daycare, DC, Educational, Guest Post, Preschoolers, Schools, Sponsored Post, Toddlers