BBB says finding top-of-class after-school care means doing your homework first
While kids are savouring the last days of summer, parents are already hitting the books to find before-and-after school care. BBB says it's crucial for parents to do their homework to find child care that makes the grade.
"It's more than looking for a baby-sitter," says Mary O'Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "Trusting someone with the responsibility of your children means checking references from other parents, making sure the facility or home meets proper health and safety regulations and other important qualifications."
Make choosing a child-care facility as simple as one, two, three with these BBB tips:
- Ask about licensing: In Alberta, licensing is required under the Child Care Licensing Act for facilities caring for seven or more children. Day homes are not required to be licensed as they are regulated by the Family Day Home Agency. Also ask if the care-givers have undergone a criminal background check.
- Check out multiple facilities: Find out how staff is selected and what their credentials are. What is the staff-to-child ratio? How are children grouped (i.e. by age or stage of development)?
- Ask for references and follow up: Ask the child care provider for references from past or present families who have used their services. Call the references to ask each parent how they were satisfied with the staff, children's programs, costs etc...
- What happens if there's an accident or emergency? Be sure all staff are educated in first aid and ask where they keep the first aid kit, fire extinguisher and check if the smoke alarms are working. Also ask if the facility is pet friendly in case your child has allergies.
- What does the cost include: Do your fees include snacks and meals, outdoor activities (i.e. trips to the park, zoo), is there structured play and learn schedules, are they open seven days a week or on statutory holidays, will the facility provide child care throughout the summer months, etc...
For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.
Leah Brownridge, Media and Corporate Communications Specialist
Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually.
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