Each day the Emory WorkLife Resource Center receives numerous calls from current and incoming Emory faculty, staff, and graduate students looking for information and referrals for quality child care providers. The new center has been working diligently to provide parents in the Emory community with information on where and how to go about finding quality child care. It is very important to learn as much as you can about the options available and to learn to recognize what quality care looks like.
Bright from the Start (Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning) is responsible for making sure that child care centers and family day care providers meet the minimum requirements to be licensed by the state and are held accountable to continue meeting these standards. Bright from the Start also provides recognition to Centers of Distinction & Recognition, as well as Homes of Distinction, Recognition, & Merit when they go beyond minimum requirements. They provide education to parents and providers about Georgia’s Early Learning Standards and the Rules and Regulations for Early Child Care.
NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) is the largest nonprofit association in the United States representing early childhood education teachers, experts, and advocates in center-based and family day care. NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. Providers of children with NAEYC accreditation have demonstrated that they have gone beyond the minimum requirements and meet the Ten Standards of High-Quality Early Childhood Education.
It is important to realize that while NAEYC accreditation is the gold standard for high quality care, not all providers seek NAEYC accreditation due to factors including costs to the center and the impact it will have on the families that use them, or their curriculum may not always be approved. While we encourage you to look for centers with such accreditation, it is more important that you understand and recognize signs of quality child care yourself.
The WorkLife Resource Center has compiled several resources and tip sheets to help you evaluate child care providers on your own.The center will also be hosting a workshop in March focusing on quality child care as well providing an overview of the various options for child care in and around Atlanta. When researching and deciding which provider is best for your child, it is also wise to remember that each parent prioritizes things differently, and that while one individual may love a particular provider, another may not. In addition, it is also important to understand that we face a trilemma in finding quality care in Atlanta. We must understand how quality, accessibility, and affordability all impact each other.
Some additional resources we suggest include:
Selecting & Evaluating Quality Child Care
March 25, 2011
1599 Clifton Road NE - Room 1.432
Tip Sheets for Caregivers, Center-Based Care, & Hiring a Nanny
Dependent Care Resource & Referral
If you have any questions about quality child care or child care options, please contact Audrey Adelson, Dependent Care Program Specialist at (404) 727-1261.