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You Have A Choice! Finding High Quality Child Care in Your Community

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Presentation on theme: "You Have A Choice! Finding High Quality Child Care in Your Community"— Presentation transcript:

1 You Have A Choice! Finding High Quality Child Care in Your Community
Hello, my name is _______________ and I am an Early Achievers Parent Navigator and a parent. As a Parent Navigator, I am here to share with you what I have learned about our children, their brains and how important quality child care is for success in school and life. Engage the group in introductions or a very short icebreaker

2 Baby’s Brain: Quick Facts
In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second 85% of a child’s core brain structure is developed by the age of four If babies' bodies grew at the same rapid pace as their brains, they would weigh 170 pounds by one month of age We have learned so much about the brain, how it grow and learns. Let’s get started with a few brain facts! Every second, yes every second 700 new connections are being formed in our babies’ brains. Did you know that 85% of your baby’s core brain structure happens by the time they are 4 years old? And My favorite, if our babies grew as fast as their brain they’d weigh 170lbs by ONE month old. (Wait for responses from audience have a quick discussion about the facts if the group is open)

3 Children Are Born Learning
We’re born with all the neurons that we will ever have, and in the first few years they’re learning how to talk to each other. We are all born learning! The connections that are made during these critical years are based not only genes but experiences. The kinds of interactions children have with adults—whether a parent, relative, or a child care provider- these interactions help determine if how well the cables get hooked up and how well they work . And time’s short - There are about 2,000 days from birth until a baby goes to kindergarten. These 2,000 days are likely the most important days in our children’s lives. We must make the best decisions that help their brain grow, so they’ll be ready for success in kindergarten.

4 Feeding the Brain Children who attend high quality child care settings are feeding their brains with healthy food. If you eat a lot of junk food you will not feel good, you won’t have the nutrition to perform well at work, and you are going to get out of shape and maybe even sick. It is experiences that feed our children’s brain. They need safe nurturing environments, opportunities to explore and learn, they need caregivers who talk with them read to them and help them learn! This is the kind of food the brain needs…

5 How do parents find high quality care?
Discussion Questions: #1. What are some ways you have found child care for your children in the past? #2. What were some of things you were looking for in a provider? Do discussion questions, then talking points if they’re necessary Now let’s talk about finding high quality care. Finding high quality child care may be difficult. Relying on word of mouth, parent referrals, and visiting a provider are helpful, but may not give you all the information you need to make a choice for your child and family. So the state of Washington’s Department of Early Learning has developed something called Early Achievers to make life easier for parents and to help ensure you are able to make an informed choice.

6 What does quality look like?
Nurturing and supportive relationships between children and adults Care and education that meets each child's individual strengths and needs Facilities that are safe, well-organized, and have age-appropriate resources This is the Early Achievers definition of quality. You can see why these things are considered important especially when you think about what the brain needs to grow well. Engage the group in a 2 min conversation about the three bullets

7 What does quality look like?
Providers that: Support the development of the whole child Develop open communication and partnerships with families Embrace diversity Here are three more things that Early Achievers uses to rate quality, and that you can look for when you visit a child care provider. Children need these things to grow and be ready for school . Engage the group in a 2 min conversation about the three bullets (Ask what they think we mean by ‘whole child’ (health, social emotional development, family, etc) or ‘partnership with families’)

8 Finding Quality Child Care: Early Achievers
Early Achievers provides unbiased information about the quality of child care and early learning programs through an easy-to-understand rating system All programs must meet Washington’s requirements for health and safety—one of the strongest in the nation Let’s talk about Early Achievers. Early Achievers is an unbiased rating and support system that has three parts, all focused on a child’s needs – Information for parents, supports for providers to improve their quality, and evaluation by early learning experts.

9 How does it work? Evaluation and Measuring Quality Informing Parents
Supporting Providers Providers who join early achievers get extensive coaching about how to make their program better, and are eligible for financial awards when they get rated so they can keep improving. When programs are ready, University of Washington will come in and rate them, based on their learning environment, quality of interactions with children, and other factors. Programs will get rated on a 2 to 5 scale – just like you can look up a hotel or a movie rating, you’ll be able to look up the rating of potential child care options for your child.

10 Committed to Quality By joining Early Achievers child care providers are signaling their desire to enhance their program quality We have a strong licensing system in Washington, one of the best in the country. That focuses on safety, which is very important. ALL licensed programs meet these safety standards. Early Achievers programs are taking an extra step – committing to improving their child care centers or homes and getting the tools they need to provide higher quality services to children.

11 Washington’s Quality Standards
Washington’s rating scale is one of the most rigorous in the country. Child care providers who enter Early Achievers are at the first step – committing to continuously improving their quality for children. Even at a level 2, providers have done a great deal of preparation and education, and are getting the coaching they need to move up the pyramid. If you talk to a provider who has joined Early Achievers, thank them for their commitment to great care for kids! Early Achievers will help parents identify quality programs, and ensure that we’re making smart choices for our smart kids. The model supports facilities to build a strong foundation at Levels 1-2, then gain points by meeting standards that are in line with their program philosophy at Levels 3-5. The model supports continuous quality improvement at all levels.

12 Find Quality Child Care Near You
Contact Child Care Aware Check DEL’s web site Child Care Aware (which used to be called “Child Care Resource and Referral” is a great first stop on your search for child care. Child Care Aware offices do two main things: Parent Information & Referral (helping parents find child care in their communities) Caregiver Support (providing coaching and training to child care providers)

13 Two Important Next Steps
Sign-in sheet. Please be sure to sign in! None of this information will be shared with anyone. 2. Follow-Up Call. Some of you will receive a follow up call. We would like to talk to you about this presentation and how impacted where you ultimately sent your children. Anyone who signs up is entered into our raffle. We will provide the winner with a $20 gift card. Thought we were limiting the raffle to people who got follow-up calls, as an incentive to answer the phone.

14 Questions Slide 14 WRAP UP
This completes our presentation. I hope you will take this information and use it to ensure quality care and education for your children. If you are already in a center, ask your provider if they are participating in Early Achievers, if they aren’t share with them why it is important. Answer any questions Please take a moment to fill out the evaluation. Thank you for coming.

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