Access to child care is essential to a woman’s ability to participate in the workforce, and a lack of access to child care affects the work-family balance of both women and men. Women need to have the ability to make the choices that are best for them and their families in both the short and long term, and greater national investments in child care and preschool programs could help remove some of the constraints that may push mothers toward decisions that have negative economic consequences for them and their families down the road. It would make quality care more affordable for American families and support mothers’ employment.
The National Institute of Health released a study in March, 2007 after following a group of children through early childhood to the 6th grade. The study found that the children who received a higher quality of childcare scored higher on 5th grade vocabulary tests than the children who had attended childcare of a lower quality. The study also reported that teachers found children from childcare to be "disobedient", fight more frequently, and more argumentative. The study reported the increases in both aggression and vocabulary were small. "The researchers emphasized that the children’s behavior was within the normal range and were not considered clinically disordered."
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Inspections are conducted before a child day care program is licensed or registered and on an ongoing basis once the program is in operation. Inspection results are available on the OCFS web site through this Search for Child Care page. If a parent or child care provider has questions or concerns about the results of an inspection, they can contact the licensing staff or the regional office that oversees the program.
There is a great deal of empirical evidence that shows how higher child care costs have a negative impact on mothers’ employment. Mothers are more likely to leave employment and less likely to start new jobs when the costs of child care are high. It is also difficult for parents to keep their jobs when they do not have access to consistent quality child care. A study conducted by Jeffrey D. Lyons in North Carolina found that about one in four families who were on a waitlist for child care assistance either lost or had to quit their jobs while they waited for an opening.
Looking for child care? Parents can receive free referrals and information about child care programs from their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency or online at www.excelerateillinois.com. Referrals to all types of child care providers - licensed centers, family child care homes, and group child care homes as well as license exempt centers and homes are available. Information on quality of care, State licensing and the Illinois ExceleRate system are also available.
In a childcare center, teachers focus on the physical and mental developments of their students. In order to have a greater understanding of the student, teachers in centers must incorporate a relationship with their students that benefits their wants and needs while pushing them toward a higher set of values. This type of teaching with a caring relationship will improve a student's moral and incidental learning.
We believe that all children are highly intelligent and capable of learning. All children are unique individuals and deserve respect as a child and as a person. Our goals and objectives as child development providers are to contribute to the child’s total development. We are sensitive to the fact that developmental ability and personalities can vary widely at any age, and help children to build self-control by learning to follow rules, sharing, taking turns, and working in a group.
Only about 22 percent of children in low-income families currently receive federally subsidized child care, and while preschool enrollment has increased nationwide in recent years, the lowest-income children are the least likely to participate in preschool programs. Twenty-eight percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs, and only 4 percent of 3-year-olds were similarly enrolled. Forty percent are not enrolled in any pre-K program at all. Clearly, the publicly funded services that are available are lacking, insufficient, or both.
Local legislation may regulate the operation of daycare centers, affecting staffing requirements. Laws may mandate staffing ratios (for example 6 weeks to 12 months, 1:4; 12 months to 18 months, 1:5; 18 months to 24 months, 1:9; et and even higher ratios for older children). Legislation may mandate qualifications of supervisors. Staff typically do not require any qualifications but staff under the age of eighteen may require supervision. Typically, once the child reaches the age of twelve, they are no longer covered by daycare legislation and programs for older children may not be regulated.
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