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Making Day Care a Good Experience The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Most child and adolescent psychiatrists recognize that the ideal environment for raising a small child is in the home with parents and family Intimate daily direct parental care of infants for the first several months of life is particularly important Since the ideal environment often is not available the role of day care especially in the first few years of the childs life needs to be considered Some experts recommend a minimum of six or more months leave for parents All agree that when day care is used the quantity and quality of the day care are significant in the childs development Before choosing a day care environment parents should be familiar with the state licensure regulations for child care They should also check references and observe the caregivers with the child Parents sometimes take their young child to the home of a person who is also caring for one or more others In this family-based day care infants and children under two-and- one-half need More adults per child than older children require A lot of individual attention The same caregivers over a long period A caregiver who will play and talk with them smile with them praise hem for their achievements and enjoy them Parents should seek a caregiver who is self-confident affectionate and comfortable with the children The caregiver should be able to encourage social skills and positive behavior and set limits on negative ones Parents should be sensitive to the caregivers capacity to relate to children of different ages Some individuals can work well only with children at a specific stage of development It is wise for parents to find out how long the individual plans to work in this day care job High turnover of individuals several turnovers or any turnover
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