Pathways to Wellness

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Choosing child care

For parents who work outside the home, finding quality child care is important both for a child's healthy development and a parent's peace of mind.  There are three important questions to help you assess whether a child care service is of high quality:

  • Who will be caring for your child?  You want to know how many staff will be caring for your child, and what their training is.  How are staff recruited and screened? It's important to observe the child care worker with children – is the worker warm, responsive, attentive to the children?
  • How will your child spend their day?  Look for a mix of structured and unstructured play, including time outdoors.   Screen time should be minimal – none for children under 2, and less than an hour per day for children between 2 and 5 years. Are there toys, books, mats, games, etc. that will be stimulating for your child?  Find out more about Screen Time in the Active 4 Life section. 
  • How safe will my child be?  Is furniture and equipment in good repair?  Are cupboards locked or child-proof?  Are there emergency evacuation plans which are practiced regularly?  Are medications kept under lock and key?  Is there a washroom which is set up so children can easily wash their hands before eating, after toileting, and when dirty?  Do all workers have First Aid and CPR?

The same, or very similar, questions can be asked about after-school programs, play schools, summer camps, and other programs offered for children.  The Department of Health and Social Services has put together a handy guide with specific questions you may want to ask about summer camps and programs.  Although intended for summer activities, the questions work equally well for child care services any time of the year.  

A Parents' Guide to Day Programs and Camps 

For more information on child care in the Yukon and a list of licensed child care centres and family day homes, go to  http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/childcareunit.php