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Posted: May 3, 2021

May is Child-Care Month in B.C.

Let’s recognize the vital work and dedication of Early Childhood Educators and all Child-Care Professionals!

Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s) are the heart of a quality, affordable, accessible child-care system.  Child-care professionals offer young children a caring and safe environment where young children are free to create, explore, and learn. Child-care professionals teach children to share and respect themselves and each other. Every day, but especially during the month of May, we acknowledge all child-care professionals for their dedication, support, and professionalism to the children in their care and their families.

Choosing Quality Child Care

‘Quality child-care should support a child’s emotional, social, intellectual, and physical well-being.’

Child Care Professional and Facility Observations:

Does the Child Care Professional?

  • Take training to support their knowledge and understanding of the children in their care (first aid, workshops, etc.)?
  • Listen to children when they speak, accept their ideas, and respond with interest and respect?
  • Respond with care and understanding to a child who may be fearful, shy, upset, hurt, or angry?
  • Promote the development of problem-solving skills, cooperation, and a sense of independence?
  • Set reasonable limits for behaviour and respond to inappropriate behaviour in a fair, consistent, respectful manner?
  • Initiate conversations with the children other than instructions, announcements, and commands?
  • Spend time with children on an individual basis and make them feel good about themselves?

Does the Facility?

  • Provide opportunities for children to explore their environment i.e., through music, creative movement, fantasy play, construction toys, games, outdoor play, and field trips?
  • Offer a balance between free play and organized activities?
  • Have a consistent yet flexible schedule?
  • Follow routines for rest, toileting, and mealtimes in a relaxed manner?
  • Reflect our cultural diversity?

The Facility and Environment:

  • Is safe (i.e., cupboards with cleaning agents are locked, kitchen knives are out of reach, stairways are gated, there is a fire extinguisher, smoke detectors, plug covers, etc.).
  • Is clean, warm, and inviting. Is well lit and comfortable in temperature.
  • Includes areas for a child to play alone, for both quiet and active play, and a safe outdoor play area.
  • Offers a good supply of varied, and developmentally appropriate toys and play materials that are in good repair and easy for children to access.

Being an effective child-care parent:

A parent’s responsibility does not end with finding quality child-care. The three-way relationship between the parent, provider, and child requires an ongoing commitment and communication is vital.  Take the time to hear about your child’s day.  Agree on mutual expectations with the provider; voice concerns, express appreciation, live up to the child-care agreement, and be aware of program policies and your expectations.

What does legal child-care look like?

B.C. law states that you can care for two children not related to you by blood or marriage, (plus your own) at any given time without a child-care license. The only time you could care for more than two children other than your own is if they are a sibling group from one family.

Anyone providing care for three or more children, not related to them by blood or marriage, is required by law to become licensed.

If someone cares for three or more children without a license, they are operating illegally. By operating illegally, it invalidates liability insurance coverage, and they could be fined!

For information on opening a licensed family or group child care facility please call Licensing Direct 1-877-980-5118.  For general child-care information or child-care referrals in the East Kootenay contact Child Care Resource & Referral at 250-426-5677 or 1-800-661-2445.

Submitted by United Way East Kootenay

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