Frequently Asked Questions

What is so important about choosing licensed child care services?

Effective licensing protects children by preventing problems before they happen. It requires measures to prevent the spread of illness. It works to prevent developmental problems. It ensures a minimum staff/child ratio and a minimum number of trained, qualified staff. Licensing child care is consumer protection under the law, it ensures minimum standards such as background checks on all staff working in a program.

Aren’t all child care programs licensed?

No. The law  allows many exemptions. Just because someone is in the business of caring for and teaching young children does not mean they are licensed. To learn about the status of a child care center or home you may call.

I just want my child to have a few hours of experience playing with other children in a day camp experience during the summer. Is that licensed?

Probably not. Many summer camp programs are run for brief periods, like 6 weeks. They are often run by park districts. Most park district programs are licensed exempt because they a run by a government agency.

How can I help my child find the enjoyment of give and take and make his less selfish?

Sharing does not come easily. It is best that they learn to share through direct experience. Discuss the feelings he may have. During the visit role model. Research has shown that children who are generous have experienced loving attention from adults, and have observed models of generosity in their every day lives. You may want to read “The Kindness of Children,” by Vivian Gussin Paley.

How should I approach sending my child off to kindergarten?

Every new situation is different. Your trust of the situation may be the key to success. Your trust in his ability to adjust, your trust in the teacher and the school system. Discuss the experience in a sincere way. You can tell him that you will miss him when he is at school, that you know he is having fun and you look forward to the end of the day when you can hear all about it. Be patient and give continued support.

What is the difference between discipline and abuse?

By definition discipline is instruction. As parents we have to constantly ask ourselves What am I teaching by what I am doing? Discipline is meant to point out what was wrong about a previous behavior. Abuse is not meant to teach. The purpose is mearly to punish.

How can we as parents monitor our behavior to prevent our discipline from crossing the line?

We can start by asking the following questions. Am I proud of what I just did? Did I teach or did I hurt? Was what I did for myself or for my child? Was I in control of my own actions? What effect is this having on my child?

Does TV really affect my child?

Watch TV with your child. Programs targeted specifically at children are often pepered with sexual comments and explicit pictures even when the program itself is wholesome. We only want children to grow and mature at their own pace, not by being confronted daily with adult fare.

How do we encourage children to eat nutritious, well balanced meals?

Children learn in many ways, but perhaps learning by example is the most common. When they see adults enjoying certain foods they will accept it. Some tips for trying new foods: Institute the one bite rule for any new food served, Serve foods that are crisp and mild flavored, Offer new foods with family foods, Let the child help prepare the new food, Offer 6 or more small meals per day to young children, Children under age 2 should not follow a fat restricted diet, Do not turn the dinner table into a battle zone, Avoid nagging, forcing, bribing.