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Choosing a child care setting for your infant, toddler or preschooler is a big decision

Quality is one of the most important factors to consider, and knowing the key elements of quality can help families make a great informed decision.Choosing quality child care influences children’s ability to learn outside of the home, build healthy relationships, and reach their potential.

What Does a High-Quality Early Learning Environment Look Like?

  • Constant attention to children’s safety and well-being
  • Positive nurturing relationships between adults and children
  • Small class or group sizes allowing children to have rich interactions with their teachers or caregiver
  • Regular opportunities for parent involvement for strong partnerships between parents, educators, and the program
  • Learning experiences and materials that are not only age and developmentally appropriate, but also respect all cultures and backgrounds
  • Learning environments that encourage creativity and imaginative play
  • Hands-on activities that stimulate and encourage positive brain connections
  • Educated teachers and caregivers that have formal education and training in caring for infants, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Caregivers who provide regular feedback to parents on the development of their child

The Steps to Quality Program rating system helps families make informed decisions when finding local child care programs.

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