The Time is Now

Imagine this:
You spend $150 per week on care for yourself. This “care” is advertised as supposedly preparing you for a future career, exercising your mind and body.
What you end up getting is several hours a day with a group of others like yourself, all being cared for by someone who doesn’t understand the best ways to teach you and isn’t clear on exactly what you should be able to do.
Would you demand a refund by the end of the week?
My guess is yes. And yet, for roughly 40% of our children under the age of five in Alabama, this is their reality. Child care in the United States is too often seen as glorified babysitting. Programs advertise using a curriculum and offering activities, but, more often than not, children are simply allowed to do as they please (within reason…most of the time). Our “standards” are not where they should be; they don’t look out for our children’s best interests.
Why, you ask? Easy: our society doesn’t put enough emphasis on the importance of the earliest years. We worry about our children once they get to the public school system, but pass over them until then.
It’s hard to turn on any media source without hearing or seeing the latest “hot topic” these days, mainly gun control. Society is crying out for the right and responsibility to protect our children, but what about their right to a solid educational foundation? Where are those supporters?
Social change doesn’t happen with silence and passivity.
The time has come, dear friends, to start getting angry at the injustice of early childhood education and our young children; after all, these will be our leaders and lawmakers soon enough. Shouldn’t we want them to have the best start?
Learn more about what Childcare Resources does to assist local early childhood teachers, families, the community, and what you can do to help!

Snow White: On a Mission to Care for the Seven Dwarfs

Four days until the Fairy Tale Ball, and Snow White is as busy as ever! Not only does she have housework to do, she also serves as a teacher and mediator among the seven dwarfs!

Did you know that Alabama has Minimum Standards regarding licensed child care providers? From class size to release policies, these businesses are regulated by the Alabama Department of Human Resources to ensure basic needs of those attending child care facilities.

Snow White seems a bit stressed right now. Perhaps she needs to attend one of Childcare Resources training sessions—many of which are offered at no cost to the participant. Our professional child development consultants deliver sessions in a variety of categories, from health and safety to language development, from administration and management to positive guidance and discipline.

And the best part? These classes, while designed for child care providers, are available and free to parents as well. So, come and learn the secrets to early childhood development–you won’t regret the amount of knowledge you acquire in each session (plus, there’s the added bonus of fun, games, fellowship and the entertaining personality of each of our trained child development specialists).

If Snow White hadn’t taken a bite of that poisoned apple, I’m SURE she would have stayed awake for her session on positive guidance this week (Don’t fret: the apple tarts at the Ball won’t put you into a deep sleep –unless you want them too, that is! We won’t tell!).

So, come out and support those who will provide the leadership and vision of our economy: attend the Fairy Tale Ball and have a positive impact on our future!

{In case you missed it, please watch the video in the link above.)

And, speaking of preparing for the future, check out one of our corporate sponsors: Protective Life Corporation.

John D. Johns, Chairman, President and CEO, is this year’s Fairy Tale Ball Honorary Chairman.

Everyone isn’t doing it.

Nursing homes do it. Hair salons do it. Why shouldn’t child care do it?

What nursing homes and hair salons are doing is being regularly inspected by a governing authority to ensure standards of care are in place and enforced to provide quality customer care. Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to child care.

The front page article in this week’s Birmingham News reveals the sad situation that many working families face each day: where to place their child in care while they work or go to school? With nearly half of all child care centers in Alabama being exempt from licensing standards as set forth by the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR), many families have few quality child care options.

Quality starts with a set of standards that are upheld by all facilities providing care to children. When some programs are exempt from standards such as background checks for all staff and staff training requirements, just to mention a few, one is left wondering: who is caring for the children? While it is true that some child care programs voluntarily adhere to even higher standards than DHR’s Minimum Standards, parents far too often assume that someone or some entity is providing ongoing oversight at the facility. Read more about Parents Perceptions in this report.  

Jefferson County Department of Health recently passed new regulations that allow them greater authority when it comes to inspecting the county’s child care centers. This is a step in the right direction. Read more on the regulations.

Such regular oversight provides parents with the assurance that even if their child care center is exempt, at least some basic health and safety standards will remain in effect.

We care about the elderly and our hair at least. If children are our key to a brighter future, then shouldn’t we expect regular inspections for their caregivers and facilities? What do you think?