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Parents Guide to Quality Child Care
 
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Director of Social Services
Kiva Rogers

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Phone Numbers
Switchboard - (804) 748-1100
Fax -(804) 748-1824


Hours
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Street Address
Department of Social Services
9501 Lucy Corr Circle
Chesterfield, VA 23832Map this 

 
Social Services
Parents Guide to Quality Child Care

Infants & Toddlers

This checklist includes indicators of a quality environment that are important for children birth to age 3. It is to be used in addition to the master checklist that covers all ages.

Caregiver

Does your child's caregiver:

  • Seem to enjoy cuddling your baby?
  • Care for your baby's physical needs such as feeding and diapering? Wash own hands frequently?
  • Spend time holding, playing with, and talking to your baby?
  • Provide stimulation by pointing out things to look at, touch, and listen to?
  • Provide dependable and consistent care so your baby can form an attachment and feel important?
  • Cooperate with your efforts to toilet train your toddler?
  • "Child proof" the setting so your toddler can crawl or walk safely and freely.
  • Realize that toddlers want to do things for themselves and help your child to learn to feed and dress him - or herself, go to the bathroom, and pick up his or her own toys?
  • Help your child learn language by talking with him or her, naming things, reading aloud, describing what she or he is doing, and responding to your child's words?

Environment

Does the home or center have:

  • Safe gates at tops and bottoms of stairs?
  • A potty chair or special toilet seat in the bathroom?
  • A clean and safe place to change diapers, sanitized after each use?
  • Cribs with firm mattresses covered in heavy plastic?
  • Separate crib sheets for each baby in care?

Activities

Are there opportunities:

  • To crawl and explore safely?
  • To play with objects and toys that help infants to develop their senses of touch, sight, and hearing? (For example, mobiles, mirrors, cradle gyms, crib toys, rattles, things to squeeze and roll, pots and pans, nesting cups, different size boxes)?
  • To take part in a variety of activities that are suited to toddler's short attention spans? (For example, puzzles, cars, books, and outdoor play equipment for active play, modeling clay, clocks, boxes, and containers for creative play)?

Preschoolers 

This checklist includes indicators of a QUALITY environment that are important for children age 3 to age 6. It is to be used in addition to the master checklist for all ages.

Caregiver

Does your child's caregiver:

  • Safe gates at tops and bottoms of stairs?
  • Plan many different activities for your child?
  • Join in activities him or herself?
  • Set consistent limits that help your child gradually learn to make his or her own choices?
  • Recognize the value of play and encourage your child to be creative and use his or her imagination?
  • Help your child feel good about himself or herself by being attentive, patient, positive, warm and accepting?
  • Allow your child to do things for him or herself because he or she understands that children can learn from their mistakes?
  • Help your child increase his or her vocabulary by talking with him/her, reading aloud, and answering questions.

Environment

Does the home or center have:

  • A stepstool in the bathroom so your preschooler can reach the sink and toilet?

Activities

Are there opportunities:

  • To play with many different toys and equipment that enable preschoolers to use their imaginations?  (For example, a book, musical instruments, costumes)?
  • To choose their own activities, for at least part of the day?
  • To visit nearby places of interest, such as the park, the library, the fire house, a museum?

School-Age 

This checklist includes indicators of a quality environment that are important for children age 6 to age 14. It is to be used in addition to the master checklist that covers all ages.

Caregiver

Does your child's caregiver:

  • Give your child supervision and security, but also understand his or her need for growing independence?
  • Set reasonable and consistent limits?
  • At the same time, allow your child to make choices and gradually take responsibility?
  • Understand the conflict and confusion that growing children sometimes feel?
  • Help your child follow through on projects, help with homework, and suggest interesting things to do?
  • Listen to your child's problems and experiences?
  • Respect your child when he or she expresses new ideas, values, or opinions?
  • Cooperate with you to set clear limits and expectations about behavior?
  • Understand the conflicts and confusion older school-age children feel about sex, identity, and pressure to conform?
  • Provide your child with a good adult image to admire and copy?

Environment

Does the home or center have:

  • A quiet place to do homework?
  • Appropriate games and activities?

Activities

Are there opportunities:

  • To practice their skills? (For example, sports, musical instruments, drama activities, craft projects)
  • To be with their own friends after school?
  • To do homework?
  • To use a variety of materials and equipment, including art materials, table games, sports equipment, books, films, records?
  • To use community facilities such as baseball fields, a swimming pool, a recreation center?

(Choosing Care for Your Children series.) Ames, IA: Iowa State University Extension Virginia Cooperative Extension in cooperation with the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Department of Social Services.