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Considerations by Age


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Certain considerations exist for children of all ages; for example: overall health and safety, routines and structure, communication, contract/agreement, etc. Things to keep in mind specific to your child's age are described below. In addition, once you have made your choice and started child care, be sure to establish regular times with your provider to discuss the following situations that exist in your home or in the provider's setting:

  • Your child's eating and sleeping patterns
  • Medical concerns/needs
  • Activities at home and at the provider's
  • Family changes
  • Special outings

INFANT

Choosing care for your infant is difficult, yet critical to their well-being and development. There is significant brain development that takes place during infancy. You are choosing the best environment and person to be your partner in providing care and early learning for your child. Good communication is the key to establishing and maintaining this partnership. Spend time during your search to interview each potential option for care.


TODDLER

Two is a great age. Children are mobile and curious. They explore and begin talking. What makes this age so much fun also makes parents a little nervous. While toddlers need to explore, you spend a lot of time keeping them safe. Gates at the stairs and plugs in electrical outlets are now the norm in your house. You want your child to experience the world. Now they will be experiencing it outside the comfort and safety of your home. You want a child care situation that you can trust.

No one can care for your toddler the way that you do. That is a given. You know how fast they move towards those stairs, you know what entertains and intrigues them the most. You now must find the situation that best mirrors the care you provide your toddler.


PRESCHOOL

Let the learning begin! Actually, the learning began at birth and hasn’t stopped! Now you want them to experience the world on a larger scale. Socialization is a wonderful experience for three, four and five year olds. They want to spend time with others and they mimic everything you do. At this age they begin to experience and understand the world around them. You want a situation that allows them to continue to explore and to learn more about how the world works.


SCHOOL AGE

Out-of-school time care should be different from school and different from a child care program for younger children. Children need a chance to be active after being in the classroom all day. Does your child enjoy physical activity, or does he prefer arts and crafts or reading? Does your child need time to relax in a quiet setting or does she need time to socialize? Also, the time between lunch and dinner is probably significant--so ensure that nutritious snacks are provided or available to her during this time.

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