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February 6, 2007

The quest for safe childcare

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Have you seen this story about the local two-year-old who wandered away from a daycare center unsupervised and unnoticed Friday evening, toddling into rush hour traffic on Pennsylvania Ave.? Thanks to an observant driver who stopped and pulled him to safety, it had a happy ending. As you might imagine, the parents at this daycare center are enraged.

I don't think it's appropriate or useful for such horror stories to create panic or working-mommy-guilt (lord knows we have enough of that already...). I'd like to use it as an opportunity to share some of the resources available to parents selecting childcare in the DC area, where families are often pressured into settling on the first available spot, because the options are so few and the waiting lists so long.

Some of the tools that can help parents of babies and young children do their research on daycares:

I really like this free, downloadable publication from the National Association of Childcare Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA):
"Is This the Right Place for My Child?: 38 Research-Based Indicators of High-Quality Childcare."

Washington, DC Child Development Council
Virginia Child Care Resource & Referral Network
Maryland Committee for Children, Inc.
Fairfax County Office for Children, Childcare Referrals
Prince George's County Child Resource Center
Montgomery County Childcare Referrals
National Childcare Information Center
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
National Association for Family Childcare

Posted by Sarah at 10:05 AM.