Tap this guideline for after-school care

Does your workday match the hours in your child’s school day? That rarely happens. Most working parents of young children need to arrange extra care in the hours before and after school.

If you’re looking for guidance, begin your enquiries with the primary school. Many of them offer this type of assistance on-site, either delivering programs directly or through a partnership with a non-profit child care operator located within the school. In addition to a convenient location, here are some other factors to consider when searching out care for your child:

• How long has the facility or program been operating and what is the experience level of the staff?

• Is there a registered early childhood educator on site? Parents can visit a public register online at www.college-ece.ca/publicregister to verify the registration status of an RECE.

• What does the overall curriculum include?

• How will information about your child’s development be shared with you?

• What safety procedures are in place?

• Remember that visiting a child care facility in person to make sure the environment is safe and up to expectations, can aid your decision.

While many parents may agree that researching a centre and staff is important, this does not always translate into action. In fact, a recent survey of Ontario parents conducted on behalf of the College of Early Childhood Educators shows that only one in 10 have ever researched the professional status of their child’s educator.

“It’s only in recent years that parents have the comfort of knowing that the person looking after their young child is a registered professional who is held accountable for their actions – and this is currently the case only in Ontario,” says Sue Corke, registrar and CEO of CECE.

“The College exists to ensure that all registered early childhood educators meet qualifications and will practise under ethical and professional standards. It also ensures that parents have easy access to their professional status.”

Parents can visit www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/steps for more information about child care.