want childcare near work or close to
home,” explains Sandra Beckman,
executive director of Accreditation
of Early Learning and Care Services,
which assesses the quality standards of
childcare programs and facilities.
Beckman recommends making a list of
your priorities. Then begin your research.
The child.alberta.ca and raisingchildren.
alberta.ca websites offer a variety of
resources. Neighbours and friends can
also give recommendations.
One of the best ways to understand
what a childcare program offers is to go
and meet the staff. “Experience the space
and vibe,” says Beckman.
It’s important to feel you’ll be able to
work with childcare providers as a team.
Ask about staff training, the centre’s
philosophy and programming and if
meals are provided and how menus
are planned. And don’t forget to ask
operation. Try to get a feel for a typical
day. You may even want to take your
child with you on a visit to see how he
likes the people and surroundings.
Waiting lists are common with some
programs, so Beckman suggests once you
find one you like, sign up well in advance
and keep in touch to show your interest.
Putting your child in the care of others
requires an enormous amount of trust and
faith. A little research can go a long way
to making sure you get peace of mind and
your child gets support and understanding
during his crucial early years.
— Cassandra hough
It’s one of the tougher decisions
parents face: finding childcare.
Thankfully, Alberta has plenty of
options: daycare programs, pre-school
programs, out-of-school care and
approved family day homes.
With more than 96 per cent of
programs accredited and all programs
with seven or more children licensed,
finding a reputable program is
not usually a problem, says Leann
Wagner, senior manager of the Child
Development branch of Alberta Children
and Youth Services.
For many families, the biggest
challenge is finding a program that
matches their individual needs. With
more than 70 per cent of all Alberta
children under the age of six in childcare,
those needs can vary widely.
“Some parents want a place that
focuses on recreation, while for others
nutrition is important, and then some
Childcare for your kids
Finding the right care is a matter of knowing your family’s needs
For more information, visit applemag.ca for
definitions of licensed and accredited childcare.