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I have never met a Mom or Dad who liked the idea of leaving their child in a center. In fact, as a center director I have hugged a crying Mom leaving her baby with us more times than I care to count. It is hard leaving your small, helpless child in the care of strangers. I know this and I have great compassion on the millions of Mothers’ who live the reality daily. It is one reason why I wrote this short manual! Let me tell you a story about the main reason.
In 1993 after I left grad school, I got a job at a government installation running their child care center. I was the employee of a Non-Governmental Organization who ran centers all over the country. This company had an extremely high quality of care. I wanted to work with people who were as dedicated to the growth and development of young children as I was. As a director, I spent 40 hours a week working with and supporting staff. While also taking care of center logistics. I also worked between 15-20 hours a month after hours doing things like ordering supplies and payroll kinds of work. A year later the company lost the contract. I applied with the new company. I did not get the job. It was about three years later when one of the staff called me and asked me for a reference. I swung by the center to give it to her. As I entered my heart sank. The center was more than half empty. What was once a bustling center with 145 children and 50 staff members had severely shrunk. I am being generous when I say I saw about 70 children and 15 staff. After giving my former employee her reference. I stepped into the directors’ office. She said,” You are Barb Harvey, right? You used to be director, here?” I said, “Yes, what happened this place seems a little empty.” Her reply stunned me then and even now I have tears in my eyes remembering her response. It was this: “I was on the original committee who was examining candidates. They gave you a courtesy interview. But, before you even entered the room it was decided they could not hire you. Your standard of care was way too high.” Now, let me tell you, what I heard? The company was only willing to do just so much for the children in their care. The results were obvious, the parents had sought out other places for their children.
I do not ever want to see a parent or child end up with a group of people who are only willing to go so far in educating the children in their care. You and your child deserve better. This guide is here to help you avoid centers who are doing just enough.
This book gives you my view into what it means to have quality in early education. I also provide exercises, tips, and information about education in general. This will give you the information you need to help your children to succeed.--
It is my hope this short book will help parents choose high quality child care. I am giving the jargon, basic early childhood quality information tips and questions to ask because it is not easy to spot those who give basic and not quality care. High quality care is available, you just need to know exactly what to look for, and I give you that in this book.
Believe in Parenting