What do you think a quality environment of child development looks like? Is it just about safety and health? No, certain other elements maintain childcare programs. These elements are not only introduced by the childcare provider but also kept in a structure with adequate support.
However, there are different bases and which various parties measure these quality features. One follows their own motive while measuring these elements. Others might not even have the same elements in their list. So, let’s go through how can a layman measure the quality of an early childhood development program.
Any parent will want to transfer on the responsibility of a child to a trusted program. It’s all about professional childcare management for the better future of the children. They must not get carried away with emotions. It’s not only a professional but very individual form of quality measurement.
A state, on the other hand, measures the product of all the services provided as one single childcare center. Let’s go through how parents and the state measure quality differently.
How does a state measure quality?
- Classroom assessment
Classroom assessment means measuring the quality and quantity of interaction between teachers and children regularly. It helps in better learning and development. This interaction might differ for different age groups according to their learning speed and grasping power. This assessment helps them observe the quality of relationships activities, curriculum, and how the physical environment is organized, particularly for children. Every observation is seen from a childcare perspective.
- Giving a certificate
Accreditation means a certificate given by the government that the program has kept up with the regulations laid out by the government. It helps current and potential customers to compare standardized quality with the level of their prospective childcare center. A proper certification helps them choose the one that has adhered to what the government has listed in favor of better childcare development.
- Rating based on the environment
Environment rating was introduced as every childcare operates in different societal surroundings. It can be differentiated for children of ages between 3 and 5, family childcare rating, or even a standardized tool to measure the overall environmental operations. Environment rating can also be influenced by the internal set up for children. So, both external and internal factors contribute to an environment rating scale for a childcare program.
The certificates disbursed by the government are based on a national comparison with all the other childcare centers operating on the same scale.
How should parents measure quality?
Parents always measure quality as individual stakeholders. Their precious child can not just compromise on the quality of education and development. To share the same, they must weigh the following factors. It is assumed that all the state measurement elements tick the necessary boxes.
- The current workforce of the staff
The state cannot regularly monitor the operations of the childcare center. Therefore, the parents must check the stability and professionalism of the current teaching workforce. Every teacher must possess the necessary knowledge of childcare development. They must be able to lead the children’s way through several ages. For this, they must have the appropriate qualification and training in this field of childcare and education.
- The appropriate curriculum
A linguistically, culturally, physically, and mentally development curriculum must be designed by the child care center. It all depends upon how you explain what you offer to the children. For a good explanation, the content in the curriculum has to be the best. The curriculum is a set of guidelines that the staff follows to achieve a particular skill set in the children after they leave the center.
- Physical environment
The parents must also judge how physically organized the environment of a childcare center is. It must be soothing to watch. The children have to spend almost one-third of their day in the childcare premises and it should be effectively developing to their eyes. Some recommendations include appropriate toys with adequate safety, images from which children can learn, encouraging interactions, and opportunities for other developmental features.
- The support structure of the program
The operating environment of any childcare center must be busy and highly functioning. The support structure of any childcare center is completed through its administrative operations. It includes communication with current customers or potential ones.
After measuring all these factors, one will be more informed of what to expect from the child development services.