6. Usually when you are cooking or doing chores at home:

Sometimes it is safer for your child to be separate from you while you are doing chores. Other times, have your baby help in the activity to build their skills and your bond with your baby. Babies want to be with you, and learn more from you, than anything else. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends very little screen time (TV, computers, video games) for babies. They are distracted from bonding with you, which is so important to their development. Consider playing music and talking with your baby in place of television.

Even though babies can’t really help, you can make everyday tasks fun and learning times for your baby.

  • Talk to your baby about what you are doing. The more you talk to your baby, the more words she will learn. You are also teaching her about the world. 
  • Pay attention to what your baby pays attention to. When your baby reacts to a sound, tell the baby what the sound is. When your baby looks at something, describe it. 
  • Point out colors, shapes, sounds, smells to your baby. Let them touch safe objects and talk about how they feel different. 
  • Give your baby safe toys that mimic what you are doing so they can play along. For example, when you are doing laundry, your baby will react to the sights, sounds and smells. You can start teaching your baby about colors by saying the color of each clothing item. Remember to show your baby bright and bold colors. And talk to your baby about what you are doing – listening to you talk is how your baby will learn language.
  • Check out PA’s Promise for Children’s Learning is Everywhere for more ways to make the most out of daily activities.

Including your baby in some daily activities helps her learn words, colors, numbers, and social skills, and build your bond together. Babies want to be with you, and learn more from you, than anything else.

Even though babies can’t really help, you can make everyday tasks fun and learning times for your baby.

  • Talk to your baby about what you are doing. The more you talk to your baby, the more words she will learn. You are also teaching her about the world. 
  • Pay attention to what your baby pays attention to. When your baby reacts to a sound, tell the baby what the sound is. When your baby looks at something, describe it. 
  • Point out colors, shapes, sounds, smells to your baby. Let them touch safe objects and talk about how they feel different. 
  • Give your baby safe toys that mimic what you are doing so they can play along. For example, when you are doing laundry, your baby will react to the sights, sounds and smells. You can start teaching your baby about colors by saying the color of each clothing item. Remember to show your baby bright and bold colors. And talk to your baby about what you are doing – listening to you talk is how your baby will learn language.
  • Check out PA’s Promise for Children’s Learning is Everywhere for more ways to make the most out of daily activities.

Toys help build a baby’s skills and have fun. What can be even better is sometimes having your baby “help” in everyday tasks to build their skills and your bond with your baby. Babies want to be with you, and learn more from you than anything else. 

Even though babies can’t really help, you can make everyday tasks fun and learning times for your baby.

  • Talk to your baby about what you are doing. The more you talk to your baby, the more words she will learn. You are also teaching her about the world. 
  • Pay attention to what your baby pays attention to. When your baby reacts to a sound, tell the baby what the sound is. When your baby looks at something, describe it. 
  • Point out colors, shapes, sounds, smells to your baby. Let them touch safe objects and talk about how they feel different. 
  • Give your baby safe toys that mimic what you are doing so they can play along. For example, when you are doing laundry, your baby will react to the sights, sounds and smells. You can start teaching your baby about colors by saying the color of each clothing item. Remember to show your baby bright and bold colors. And talk to your baby about what you are doing – listening to you talk is how your baby will learn language.
  • Check out PA’s Promise for Children’s Learning is Everywhere for more ways to make the most out of daily activities.

When a new baby comes, the chores can double or triple! Parents make the best multi-taskers!

Maybe you can combine some daily activities and spending quality time with your baby. Babies want to be with you, and learn more from you than anything else.

Even though babies can’t really help, you can make everyday tasks fun and learning times for your baby.

  • Talk to your baby about what you are doing. The more you talk to your baby, the more words she will learn. You are also teaching her about the world. 
  • Pay attention to what your baby pays attention to. When your baby reacts to a sound, tell the baby what the sound is. When your baby looks at something, describe it. 
  • Point out colors, shapes, sounds, smells to your baby. Let them touch safe objects and talk about how they feel different. 
  • Give your baby safe toys that mimic what you are doing so they can play along. For example, when you are doing laundry, your baby will react to the sights, sounds and smells. You can start teaching your baby about colors by saying the color of each clothing item. Remember to show your baby bright and bold colors. And talk to your baby about what you are doing – listening to you talk is how your baby will learn language.
  • Check out PA’s Promise for Children’s Learning is Everywhere for more ways to make the most out of daily activities.

7. Your baby's playtime usually involves:

Play is a great way to bond with your baby and have fun too! Play is how your baby learns. For example, when you mimic the coos of your baby and your baby coos back, he is beginning to learn language.
Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they are moving around, every day. Finding a few minutes throughout the day for play can add up.
 
Babies need different types of play to learn and grow – with toys, games, other children, and you. Babies enjoy being around other children and watching them play.
 
Make the most of your baby’s playtime. Encourage your baby to play when he is happy, rested and fed. Let your baby decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play. You are there to keep him safe and play as well, but the child should direct the play.
 
For babies under six months:
  • Imitate the sounds your baby makes and try to have a conversation as you coo or babble back and forth to each other.
  • Sing your favorite songs.
  • Talk to your baby about what’s around you and what you are doing.
  • Let your baby touch objects with different textures.
For babies 6-12 months:
  • Start a bedtime routine that includes quiet play and reading together.
  • Use bath time to gently splash, pour and explore water.
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Hide your child’s favorite toy under a blanket and ask where the toy went.

If your baby is spending time in a child care/ early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day. Other things to look for:

  • Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate, like not too easy or too hard?
  • Are there enough toys?
  • Do children get to move around as well as be quieter?
  • Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?
 
 

It’s great that your baby is spending time with other children. When your baby is older, playing with other children where they make up the games and set the rules will teach him important social skills he can’t learn anywhere else.

Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they are moving around, every day. Finding a few minutes throughout the day for play can add up.
 
Babies need different types of play to learn and grow – with toys, games, other children, and you. Babies enjoy being around other children and watching them play.
 
Make the most of your baby’s playtime. Encourage your baby to play when he is happy, rested and fed. Let your baby decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play. You are there to keep him safe and play as well, but the child should direct the play.
 
For babies under six months:
  • Imitate the sounds your baby makes and try to have a conversation as you coo or babble back and forth to each other.
  • Sing your favorite songs.
  • Talk to your baby about what’s around you and what you are doing.
  • Let your baby touch objects with different textures.
For babies 6-12 months:
  • Start a bedtime routine that includes quiet play and reading together.
  • Use bath time to gently splash, pour and explore water.
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Hide your child’s favorite toy under a blanket and ask where the toy went.

If your baby is spending time in a child care/ early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day. Other things to look for:

  • Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate, like not too easy or too hard?
  • Are there enough toys?
  • Do children get to move around as well as be quieter?
  • Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?
 
Group classes and playgroups are a great way to bond with your baby and have fun too. In class pay attention to what catches your baby’s eye and let him lead the play as much as possible. If your baby loses interest in one activity, that’s fine. Just move to something that your baby is interested in.
 
Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they are moving around, every day. Finding a few minutes throughout the day for play can add up.
 
Babies need different types of play to learn and grow – with toys, games, other children, and you. Babies enjoy being around other children and watching them play.
 
Make the most of your baby’s playtime. Encourage your baby to play when he is happy, rested and fed. Let your baby decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play. You are there to keep him safe and play as well, but the child should direct the play.
 
For babies under six months:
  • Imitate the sounds your baby makes and try to have a conversation as you coo or babble back and forth to each other.
  • Sing your favorite songs.
  • Talk to your baby about what’s around you and what you are doing.
  • Let your baby touch objects with different textures.
For babies 6-12 months:
  • Start a bedtime routine that includes quiet play and reading together.
  • Use bath time to gently splash, pour and explore water.
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Hide your child’s favorite toy under a blanket and ask where the toy went.

If your baby is spending time in a child care/ early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day. Other things to look for:

  • Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate, like not too easy or too hard?
  • Are there enough toys?
  • Do children get to move around as well as be quieter?
  • Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?
 
Giving your baby different ways to play helps build all the skills they need to learn and grow. For example, when you mimic the coos of your baby and your baby coos back, they are beginning to learn how to have a conversation.
 
Children should have at least 30-60 minutes of active play, where they are moving around, every day. Finding a few minutes throughout the day for play can add up.
 
Babies need different types of play to learn and grow – with toys, games, other children, and you. Babies enjoy being around other children and watching them play.
 
Make the most of your baby’s playtime. Encourage your baby to play when he is happy, rested and fed. Let your baby decide what he wants to play with and how he wants to play. You are there to keep him safe and play as well, but the child should direct the play.
 
For babies under six months:
  • Imitate the sounds your baby makes and try to have a conversation as you coo or babble back and forth to each other.
  • Sing your favorite songs.
  • Talk to your baby about what’s around you and what you are doing.
  • Let your baby touch objects with different textures.
For babies 6-12 months:
  • Start a bedtime routine that includes quiet play and reading together.
  • Use bath time to gently splash, pour and explore water.
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Hide your child’s favorite toy under a blanket and ask where the toy went.

If your baby is spending time in a child care/ early learning program, ask if children have at least one hour of free play a day. Other things to look for:

  • Do children have access to different play areas that are developmentally appropriate, like not too easy or too hard?
  • Are there enough toys?
  • Do children get to move around as well as be quieter?
  • Do teachers make sure children are safe, but allow the children to decide how they want to play?
 

8. At your baby's checkup, you ask the doctor a question, but don't really understand the answer. You:

A doctor has a lot of medical knowledge, but you are the expert on how your baby is doing. It’s important that you understand the doctor and that the doctor understands you. You have the right to keep asking questions until you do understand what the doctor is trying to tell you.

Sometimes it is helpful to do some web surfing before you go to the doctor, but choose a reliable site like the American Academy of Pediatrics Symptom Checker. Online searches should never replace a doctor’s visit.

Before you meet with your baby’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say, “I don’t understand, can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines that you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your baby. Again, you are the expert on your baby, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion resource for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your baby’s life.

Doctors, teachers and other professionals get busy. Sometimes you may feel rushed. Calling back later to talk to the nurse or assistant can be a less stressful way to get your questions answered. But it might also take more time if they have to talk to the doctor before they can answer you.

It’s best to ask the doctor in person when you are there, again and again, until they give you an answer you can understand. You have the right to keep asking questions until you do understand.
Remember, you are the expert on your baby and no one will stand up for your child more than you.

Before you meet with your baby’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say, “I don’t understand, can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines that you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your baby. Again, you are the expert on your baby, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion resource for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your baby’s life.

The best way to protect and care for your baby is to make sure you get the information you need in a way you can understand. You are the expert on your baby and no one will stand up for your baby more than you. 

Before you meet with your baby’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say, “I don’t understand, can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines that you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your baby. Again, you are the expert on your baby, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion resource for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your baby’s life.

It is a good idea to touch base with all the major adults in your baby’s life. That may include a teacher, family member, and others that care for your baby. Ask them about specific examples of things that you can share with your doctor at your next visit. 
It is also important that you and your child’s doctor understand each other.

The doctor has a lot of medical knowledge, but you know your child best. 

It’s best to ask the doctor in person when you are there, again and again, until they give you an answer you can understand. 

Before you meet with your baby’s doctor, teacher or other professionals, make a list of what you want to talk about. Write down questions. Give specific examples of what you are talking about to make it easier for the doctor to answer your questions. Bring paper and pen so you can take notes during the visit. Take as much time as you need to write down the answers, so you can later understand what you wrote.

Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor you don’t understand. Simply say, “I don’t understand, can you be clearer?” or ask another question.

You may also think of questions after you’ve left the office. Some doctors have ways to email them with non-urgent questions. Many insurance companies and hospitals also offer nurse hotlines that you can call with general questions.

These are great tips for talking with any professional about your baby. Again, you are the expert on your baby, and what you have to say matters!

Check out the Be Your Child’s Champion resource for more ideas on how to communicate with other important adults in your baby’s life.

9. In addition to being safe, when your baby is not with you, it is most important to you that he is:

How babies spend their day affects how they will learn things like their ABCs when they get older.

You want your baby to be safe, well cared for and given lots of learning activities. The learning activities should build on what your baby can already do, without being too easy or too hard. This is called developmentally appropriate. This will help prepare him for learning throughout school.

Here are things to think about when looking for a caregiver or child care/early learning program.

The resource, A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania, has information to help you select a program that is best for you and your child.

These tips can also help.

  • To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to find a licensed child care program. Check to see if there are any violations against them.
  • Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn. Babies enjoy watching other children play and playing near other children even if they aren’t ready to join in yet. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups also help build these skills.
  • Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any, show them the activity calendars in the resources section that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards. 

If you are looking for home-based services or a child care/ early learning program, look for these programs:

  • Early Head Start
  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Parent-Child Home Program
  • Keystone STARS
  • Head Start
  • PA Pre-K Counts

These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

Playing with other children is a great way to socialize your baby and build skills that he can use for life! In quality child care/ early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups can also help build these skills. Babies enjoy watching other children play and playing near other children even if they aren’t ready to join in yet.

Here are things to think about when looking for a caregiver or child care/early learning program.

The resource, A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania, has information to help you select a program that is best for you and your child.

These tips can also help.

  • To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to find a licensed child care program. Check to see if there are any violations against them.
  • Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn. Babies enjoy watching other children play and playing near other children even if they aren’t ready to join in yet. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups also help build these skills.
  • Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any, show them the activity calendars in the resources section that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards. 

If you are looking for home-based services or a child care/ early learning program, look for these programs:

  • Early Head Start
  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Parent-Child Home Program
  • Keystone STARS
  • Head Start
  • PA Pre-K Counts

These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

There are ways to guide children’s activities so they have fun but are also learning skills they will need for school and life.

Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. This means activities that are not too easy or too hard for your child, but will help your child grow. If they don’t know of any activities, show them the activity calendars that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards. 

Here are things to think about when looking for a caregiver or child care/early learning program.

The resource, A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania, has information to help you select a program that is best for you and your child.

These tips can also help.

  • To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to find a licensed child care program. Check to see if there are any violations against them.
  • Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn. Babies enjoy watching other children play and playing near other children even if they aren’t ready to join in yet. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups also help build these skills.

If you are looking for home-based services or a child care/ early learning program, look for these programs:

  • Early Head Start
  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Parent-Child Home Program
  • Keystone STARS
  • Head Start
  • PA Pre-K Counts

These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

Learning, socializing and having fun are all important to your baby’s development. You want your baby to be safe, well cared for and given lots of learning activities. The learning activities should build on what your baby can already do, without being too easy or too hard (developmentally-appropriate). And playtime counts as learning time! This will help prepare him for learning throughout school.

Here are things to think about when looking for a caregiver or child care/early learning program.

The resource, A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care in Pennsylvania, has information to help you select a program that is best for you and your child.

These tips can also help.

  • To make sure your child will be safe, do a little research. Visit www.findchildcare.pa.gov to find a licensed child care program. Check to see if there are any violations against them.
  • Young children need to spend time with other children, called socialization, to learn. Babies enjoy watching other children play and playing near other children even if they aren’t ready to join in yet. In quality child care/early learning programs, children build social skills, like how to follow directions, by playing with other children. Playgroups also help build these skills.
  • Ask the caregiver or program if they have activities that are developmentally appropriate. If they don’t know of any, show them the activity calendars in the resources section that are based on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards. 

If you are looking for home-based services or a child care/ early learning program, look for these programs:

  • Early Head Start
  • Nurse-Family Partnership
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Parent-Child Home Program
  • Keystone STARS
  • Head Start
  • PA Pre-K Counts

These programs have developmentally-appropriate activities and use Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Standards.

10. When looking for a child care/early learning program for your baby, your biggest challenge is:

You have to think about cost and convenience. So how do you find the quality you want that is affordable and nearby?

Quality programs like Nurse-Family Partnership, Parent-Child Home Program, Parents as Teachers, Early Head Start/Head Start, Early Intervention and PA Pre-K Counts are free for families that meet income requirements.

You may be eligible for subsidized child care through Child Care Works if you meet work and income requirements. Child Care Works (CCIS) provides financial assistance for care from a person or a child care/ early learning program. Most quality Keystone STARS programs accept Child Care Works. 

When looking for child care, try to balance cost, convenience and quality. Try to visit 2-3 caregivers or programs before you make a choice. Two programs may cost about the same, but quality may be very different. Bring your baby with you to see if he’ll be comfortable there.

When you visit, please ask about:

  • Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.childcare.pa.gov to see if there are any violations.
  • If it is a child care program, what is its’ STAR level? Child care programs may earn up to a STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
  • What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children?
  • Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover?
  • Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning?
  • Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things? 
  • Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere?
  • Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
  • How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
  • Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care to help you make a choice.

Your child needs to be safe. It’s important to know if there have been any complaints against a caregiver or child care/ early learning program.

First, find out what regulations or background checks are required. Do they meet the necessary regulations? For child care programs, you can find out about any complaints or violations at www.findchildcare.pa.gov. Search by address or provider name. Once you locate a provider, click View History to see the Inspection History, Waivers and any negative sanctions, like violations.

When looking for child care, try to balance cost, convenience and quality. Try to visit 2-3 caregivers or programs before you make a choice. Two programs may cost about the same, but quality may be very different. Bring your baby with you to see if he’ll be comfortable there.

When you visit, please ask about:

  • Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.childcare.pa.gov to see if there are any violations.
  • If it is a child care program, what is its’ STAR level? Child care programs may earn up to a STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
  • What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children?
  • Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover?
  • Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning?
  • Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things? 
  • Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere?
  • Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
  • How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
  • Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care to help you make a choice.

Only you can tell what caregiver or program is the right fit for your family. There are things you can look for that help you know it’s a quality program, where your child can be safe, happy and learning.

Try to visit 2-3 caregivers or programs before you make a choice. Two programs may cost about the same, but quality may be very different. Bring your baby with you to see if he’ll be comfortable there.

When you visit, please ask about:

  • Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.childcare.pa.gov to see if there are any violations.
  • If it is a child care program, what is its’ STAR level? Child care programs may earn up to a STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
  • What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children?
  • Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover?
  • Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning?
  • Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things? 
  • Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere?
  • Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
  • How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
  • Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care to help you make a choice.

It’s great that your baby can spend so much time with you! What a great way to bond.

The time your baby spends with others is important, too. You want to be sure that your child is safe and know anyone your child spends time with, even family and friends.

If you have an ex-partner with whom your baby spends some time, consistency can make the back and forth easier on her. Work with your ex-partner to make sure your baby knows both of you love her. Try to set the same ground rules in both homes, and follow similar discipline and routines to help your child enjoy both homes and grow.

If your child doesn’t already spend time with other children, you can set play dates so she can socialize with other young children. Time spent playing with other children will help her get ready for kindergarten. Many child care/ early learning programs offer part-day or part-week care that help add to what you are providing your child at home.

If you do decide to use a child care program to care for your child, try to visit 2-3 caregivers or programs before you make a choice. Two programs may cost about the same, but quality may be very different. Bring your baby with you to see if she’ll be comfortable there.

When you visit, please ask about:

  • Is this person or program safe to care for children? Do they meet regulations? Have there been any complaints? Visit www.childcare.pa.gov to see if there are any violations.
  • If it is a child care program, what is its’ STAR level? Child care programs may earn up to a STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. The higher the STAR level, the higher the quality.
  • What experience and education does the person/teacher have caring for young children?
  • Do the teachers and staff stay or is there high turnover?
  • Are you comfortable with the teacher and feel the teacher will treat you as a partner in your child’s learning?
  • Do teachers and home visitors encourage children to safely explore and try new things? 
  • Is there a kid-friendly atmosphere?
  • Will your child have access to a variety of activities that are developmentally appropriate?
  • How does the program feel? Is it clean? Are children having fun?
  • Can you visit anytime?

Check out A Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care to help you make a choice.

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