When my children were young, people who took care of other’s children were “babysitters”, and my husband and I were in need of finding one. We weren’t concerned about any laws required for “babysitters”; we just needed a safe place where we could take our children for the day so we could go to work. I’m sure there were laws, but we were not aware of them at the time. We just needed a “babysitter” till the age of five, then send the children to school for the rest of their developing years. We thought our part as parents of young children was complete!

Our children had good, dependable, reliable, responsible, trustworthy, loving and caring grandparents. That was our ticket for security with our children. Who better to care for your children than family? We didn’t have the funds to pay for child care, so our parents helped us.

If we only knew back then what we have learned now, our thoughts would have been different in finding quality child care. Not that our parents or family members weren’t good, but health and safety always came first for the care of our children. We didn’t think that much about brain development and that caregivers should provide learning opportunities for our children.

This is why I like to help educate others and get the word out to each and every parent. I can talk about laws regarding quality that should be present in all aspects of child care. Last year, the federal government approved “Child Care Development Funds” again. To receive these funds, states need rules to protect and educate children. The Iowa Department of Human Services submitted a plan to increase the quality of child care in Iowa.

In the plan, licensed and registered child care programs, and people who accept Child Care Assistance payments from the state, have new requirements. All new child care providers will need to complete training in health and safety before providing child care. All current and existing child care providers must complete the health and safety training prior to renewing an existing registration or provider agreement.

Child Care Development Funds provide Child Care Assistance so parents can work and increase their access to quality child care. These funds also promote children’s health, safety and learning while in child care. Children who attend high-quality child care perform better when tested on their:

  • cognitive skills
  • language ability
  • vocabulary
  • mathematical ability
  • memory and attention
  • social skills

Working parents and their child’s well-being are interrelated. When parents are able to work and earn a steady income, they can offer their children more stability, opportunities and resources. Families can live in safer neighborhoods with better schools. They can provide nutritious meals and buy appropriate books and toys that allow their children to learn and explore. Most of all, parents have peace of mind that their children are in child care that offers a healthy, safe and nurturing environment.

Now - do you choose a “babysitter” or quality child care? The choice is yours; whom do you choose?


Tags: babysitter , quality , child care , development , child care assistance , licensed , registered

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