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Daycare Checklist

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-I'm Tony Martinez, welcome to Parents TV. One of the first decisions you may make as a new parent is about childcare. It's an important decision because the habits that children develop when they're young could last a lifetime. Were at Kindercare today to get some of the answers to those questions you may have about choosing the proper childcare for your child. Well, we're here with Cindy Sexton who is the center director at Kindercare, and thanks for letting us in this morning. -You're very welcome. -Beautiful place, it looks fantastic. I wouldn't mind spending some time here hangin' out and that's-- look at how much you're dealing with kids. You're-- you're providing a safe environment so parents know that when they're busy or working or what-- whatever it may be, that that they have a safe and nurturing environment to come to. Is that pri-- the primary goal of-- of how you see childcare for kids this age? -Absolutely, they spend a very long period of time at our center - a lot of children do - and so to offer them a safe and stimulating environment is-- is our goal. -The amount of time they may spend here with parents that say they're both working and so forth, that's a big decision. Probably one of the bigger decisions certainly for first time parents that they're making about their children, you know, where are we gonna have this child for them to be able to work and how would they choose a childcare. So I think for the couple it's a-- it's crucial. So when you look at that, the weight of that decision-making process, what do you hear from parents about what their considering or what are the important things for them to think about when choosing childcare? -Well, especially when we start with the younger children we wanna make sure that we are catering to their needs. In our infant program we work on their schedule and their needs, and we make sure that we're working hand in hand with the parents. We're-- we're taking off where they're leaving off then we just-- we wanna make sure that we're working with them, communicating with them and being a partner with their-- their growth and development. -What do you think parents seem to be thinking about when they're-- when they're making this-- this big decision? You think about obviously known safety issues. I mean, you know, people who the kids becoming in contact with so that makes you think okay, you know, background checks and all these kind of things and who these kids becoming in contact with. So, with your organization how do you approach those issues in terms of like, who you're hiring to-- to have connection with the children? -Well, working with Kindercare Learning Center, it is very important for them to make sure that we're hiring the right people. So we do, do those background checks, we do conduct reference checks before we hire staff, those are very important aspects to our hiring. We-- we do some follow-through training. We have a training program after we do hire the staff so we have continuous training with Kindercare. A lot of those things are very important. I know a lot of parents are looking not only for safety but, are their classrooms clean? What are the teachers like? What are their personalities like? What kind of schedule do they have? What kind of activities do they plan? We--Kindercare has-- we do progress reports on children all the way-- I mean beginning in infants all the way up through our preschool programs. So that's kind of nice for the parents to have absolutely. -It would seem like the consistency is so important because if a child is here for maybe 4, 6, 8 hours a day and they go home and the rules are completely different, you know, when you're 4 than can be confusing. -Absolutely. When they're here all day we do have consistent schedules which helps them to understand what comes next during the day so they're always prepared. We don't-- we don't like to surprise them at all either. -If you were to sort of pick a few items from that checklist for first time parents, what are some of the things that they should be looking at, like maybe they'll even listing them off with? -Absolutely. When you look at our quality's checklist you're looking at-- you're looking for items such as: Is the environment clean? Is it safe? What kind of programs are being implemented in the classroom? Are they quality programs? Are they stimulating? Do they change with the times? What kind of - just like we talked about - hiring, what kind of hiring policies and practices do you have? All those are very very important. To know everything from the very beginning of the day as much how it gonna be safe to who's teaching my child. We just wanna make sure that all of that is covered, and we want you to be able to feel comfortable leaving your child so we wanna make sure that we're meeting everybody's needs. -At the end of the day, you know, kids back to their parents, go back home, what do you hope that kids are taking home from their experience here? -At the end of the day we really truly wanna make a difference, and we do this every single day. Our children walking to our buildings, we provide them with stimulating fun activities. We do-- we teach the whole child so that we are-- they're developing in emotional and social ways, as well as physical and intellectual ways. So at the end of the day we-- we really wanna make sure that they have had fun while they're learning, and that's their job. Their job is to play and it's our job is to tap into that playtime and create an environment that's got very stimulating activities for them so they can learn. -Well, so much good information there it almost seems overwhelming in a way but 2 big concepts to keep in mind. First, do your homework, do your research. Know the things you want to know about the organization before you walk in the door. And when you do walk in the door trust your instincts 'cause it's an important decision choosing childcare and you wanna make it right. I'm Tony Martinez. Thanks for watching Parents TV. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families. Our lives.