The ABC of Child Care series of posts aims to illustrate for parents what quality child care looks like in practice and aims to be both a tool for parents looking for child care for the first time and as a resource for all parents with children in care. I believe we all share a responsibility to ask questions and expect results when it comes to the environment and people caring for and educating our youngest and most impressionable citizens.
D is for Daily Record
A quality centre will maintain daily records for families which record both practical, care-related information and information about the educational focus of the day.
On the practical side, a centre may chart routine information regarding each child’s appetite and foods eaten at mealtimes, times and durations of sleep/rest periods and, for younger children, nappy change and/or toileting information.
There should also be a record of the types of activities the children were engaged in during the day, possibly presented as a story about the day’s events (a daily dairy or daybook), a slideshow of photos, or a written program on display. However the information is presented, parents should feel like they have an overall picture of how the day progressed for the children and they types of learning experiences they were engaged in. Although this information cannot possibly record absolutely everything that happened in the day, it should provide parents with enough information to talk to their child about their day and what they did whilst at the centre. This information is especially helpful during busy pick up times when individual staff may not be able to talk to parents at length as they are still supervising children.
If your are unaware of your child care centre providing this type of information, ask. If you are looking at new centres for your child, don’t forget to ask what information is available to parents on a daily basis as part of your screening process.
- The ABC of Child Care: A is for Ambiance
- The ABC of Child Care: B is for Behaviour
- The ABC of Child Care: C is for Communication