As a mother I understand the level of importance of having early child care for my two children. It is good know that programs like Ready. Set. Grow. LA are available to many families.
Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5; these early years are critical
to the development of how a child thinks, feels, acts, and interacts with others.
According to First 5 LA, many parents are not aware the first 5 years of their
child’s life may determine the level of success they will reach as adults.
To help parents who need to find someone to watch after their child during
these early development years, First 5 LA has launched “Quality Child Care Lasts
a Lifetime,” a campaign aimed at informing parents about the life-long benefits
of quality early care and education and tips to help them make informed
I recall attending graduate school and having just had a newborn baby, I was very concerned about her development. Although my child was very young I wanted her to be able to interact with other babies, develop strong motor skills and prepare to learn academically. It was a struggle but I was fortunate enough to provide the proper care for her. During this time there were not many resources accessible for me, so there was a lot of leg work and research involved. If a program like Ready.Set.Grow. was available then that would have been a weight off my shoulders. By the time I had my second child things had changed with the internet and the awareness and importance of good child care, there were many resources available to me. My daughter is now a freshman in college and has been in AP/Honors class since 5th grade and now maintains a 4.0 grade point average. I attribute her accomplishments to early child care. I placed both of my children in nursery school, then preschool, but prior to making that decision, I did consider in home child care providers as well as long as they understood my concerns of my child’s social skills and interaction with others. There are many good child care providers out there, they may even be your own friends and family.
Tips on finding a child care provider:
1. Word of Mouth is always good for finding good child care. Ask friends or family if they know of a good child care provider or if they may be able to care for your child.
2. Internet Research- type in the city you are seeking child care in. ex) Los Angeles Child Care, from there, after a list of names come up, take the names and type in the name of the child care provider and then type in the word reviews along with the name of the provider and search. This will allow you to find reviews others may have written about the provider.
3.Go to your local school district. Some districts have early child care programs within the community. The only draw back is there may be a waiting list. You may need to start early. For example: If you are expecting a child and know this is an option available to you, speak to someone immediately and ask how early can your child be placed on the list.
4.Many local community centers offer early child care as well and there prices are usually reasonable.
5. If you find a child care provider and feel that it may not be feasible for you, always ask if they offer financial aid or are there any programs available to you so that you may apply.
There are many alternatives available to finding child care. While you are on your search for a good child care provider for your child, do not settle, research, ask lots of questions, make visits and tours of any facility/home you are considering for you child.
It is very important to stay involved in your child’s care and education. I say this because I have always been involved with both of my children’s child care and education. With my daughter, I was involved from nursery school through her senior year in high school and now that she is a freshman in college, there is a minimal amount of involvement, but she knows I am here for her. It has been a hard transition, but I know that I have provided her with the proper tools to be a successful individual in this competitive world. With my seven year old, son I am very involved with his academics, he attends school, goes to an after school program that does assist him with homework and provides after school activities. He has a tutor as well. I make sure I am aware of what is going on in all programs. Although, they seem they are separate, they involve my child and I have to be in constant communication with them. For example if there is an issue in one area, we can all work together to rectify the problem or come up with a solution. But, if things are fine I feel like we have all done our job.
To celebrate the importance of Quality Care, Ready Set Grow I am giving away gift basket(valued at $15), with a learning materials.
The Gift Basket includes the following 10 items:
The 10 contents include:
1-Box of chunky chalk
1-Chalk board eraser
1-Small red ball
1-First 5 LA Family guide
1-Bilingual “Colors/Colores” book
1-“My Shinning Star” book in English
1-“Tu eres mi Estrella” book in Spanish
1-Harry the Otter book
According to First 5 LA, however, many parents are not aware the first 5 years of their child’s life may determine the level of success they will reach as adults. The agency, through it’s “Quality Child Care Lasts A Lifetime” campaign, wants to encourage those organizations that work directly with parents, to deliver their important message. I encourage you to visit http://readysetgrowla.org/ for more information on the 5 steps to choosing quality child care, tips and check lists.
ReadySetGrowLA.org. However, all opinions expressed are my own.