your child care search by calling your local Child Care Resource and
Referral Agency or call Child Care Aware at 1-800-424-2246. They can
give you the facts about child care and a list of child care options
in your area that may meet your needs. Be sure to ask what the licensing
requirements are in your area and how you can get information about
complaints and licensing violations. Your family may also qualify for
some child care financial assistance programs that are available.
and Ask Questions:
- Adult to Child
Ratio: Ask how many children there are for each adult. The fewer
the children the better. Babies need an adult to child ratio of
no more than 1:4 (one adult for four infants, birth to 24 months),
while the ratio would be higher with four and five year olds.
- Group Size:
Find out how many children are in the group – the smaller
Caregiver Qualifications: Ask about the caregivers’ training
and education that qualifies them to work with children. Check each
candidate’s references and work histories.
- Ask the Caregiver
Open-ended Questions: Tell me about your previous experiences working
with children. What activities do you like to do with children?
What is your discipline policy? How do you manage stressful situations?
How do you handle naps, meals, toilet training and emergencies?
- Ask Practical
Questions: Are you certified in infant/child CPR and first aid?
What if my child cries all day or refuses to eat or to nap? Are
you willing to care for my child if he/she is sick? What hours are
you available? Are the activities and materials age-appropriate
for my child?
- Spend some
time watching your children and the caregiver interact before leaving
them alone. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS!
a Background Check:
- Ask the caregiver
if they have a criminal history or have ever been accused of abuse
and neglect, whether it was founded or not. Regardless of the answer,
it is essential to complete the forms for a background check on
your potential caregiver and submit them to the appropriate departments.
- The Child
Abuse/Neglect Central Registry Release of Information Form can be
downloaded from the Department of Social Services website at: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/files/division/dfs/cps/forms/032-02-0151-06-eng.pdf
The cost of completing this form is $7 and it must be notarized.
- The Criminal
History Record Request form can be downloaded from the Virginia
State Police Department website at: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/downloads/SP167.pdf
The cost of completing this form is $15 and it must be notarized.
The approximate turn-around time to receive this information is
15 working days.
- A Request
for Fingerprints form can be downloaded from the Virginia State
Police Department website at: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/FormsPublications.shtm
The cost of completing this form is $10.
- If the caregiver
refuses to allow you to do a background check, this should be a
definite red flag! NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD WITH ANYONE WITHOUT COMPLETING
A BACKGROUND CHECK FIRST!
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads
Virginia Department of Social Services
The Planning Council (child care)
Child Care Aware
Kids Priority One: Health and Safety Zone
Loving Memory of Hannah Noelle Weiss December 10, 2004 –September