Finding the perfect child care provider feels like a daunting process for many families. Juggling work schedules and balancing the costs of care can create unique circumstances that can impact how a family ultimately decides who should care for their children. What should matter most in the decision-making process is that the child care provider is participating in quality improvement initiatives to assure all children, across all demographics, have access to high quality care.
As a provider, you are on the forefront of creating a community of caregivers invested in helping all children thrive. We thank you for your dedication! Participating in quality care training provides more opportunities for the strongest start before school and creates an inclusive model for your program. With a decrease in Weld County’s child care capacity, more families face the barriers of accessing quality care. In fact, as of October 2017, there are approximately 6,400 licensed child care slots available in Weld County compared to an estimated 13,000-16,000 children in Weld County under the age of 6 that are likely to need child care at some point during the day.
While the definition of quality care can vary, research in early childhood tells us key components to look for:
- Highly skilled staff
- High adult-to-child ratios
- A language-rich environment
- Age-appropriate curriculum and stimulating materials in a safe setting
- Warm, responsive interactions between staff and children
- Play-based, child-led instruction
When providers invest in implementing quality programming for all children, we influence the outcome for positive futures.
Weld County remains steadfast in its commitment to helping support all early childhood professionals and those watching children from home who are invested in providing quality care. Reading Great by 8 at United Way of Weld County works with child care providers to increase their level of care. This could be a licensed home, center, family member, friend or a neighbor who is watching children. Along with professional development trainings offered through Reading Great by 8, we work with local community partners and nearby counties to bring a variety of resources to you.
When we create avenues to not only build a proficient workforce but a team of care providers committed to excellence, we also pave the way for children. Colorado KIDS COUNT tells us that “extensive research provides definitive evidence that well-implemented, high-quality pre-kindergarten for at-risk kids can help narrow the achievement gap, reduce grade repetition and special education placements, increase high school graduation rates, reduce crime and lead to greater employment and higher earnings as adults.” Isn’t it amazing to know our community’s childcare professionals stand at the front-lines of prevention and intervention? You are a critical piece of preparing children for next steps, building up families and advocating for the strongest start possible.
To learn more ways you can develop a quality improvement pathway for your business, contact United Way of Weld County Reading Great by 8 program at (970) 353-4300. We have a team dedicated to helping you find the support you want.