2

What Is Quality?

Quality early learning experiences give young children the start they need to enter school ready for success. The years prior to kindergarten are among the most significant in shaping a child’s foundation for learning. Research has shown that learning begins at birth and takes shape as children are nurtured, challenged, and engaged in high-quality learning environments and in loving relationships with parents and other caregivers.

Making the best choice for your child is a very individual decision. Your choice should reflect your values and expectations and meet your child’s personal needs. What you know about your child and what you learn as you visit potential programs will help you choose the child care setting that is the best fit for your child and your family.

When you talk with and visit potential child care programs, it’s important that you go prepared.
Before you visit:
•  Check out Child Care Aware’s Child Care 101 as a starting point for your search.
•  Read through Zero to Three’s great webpage, Choosing Quality Child Care, to understand the types of teacher and child behaviors, classroom activities and program policies that you should see in high quality early learning environments.
•  Visit Georgia’s Quality Rated website for families to learn about important quality initiatives in the state.
•  Make your own personal list of the questions that you want to ask program owners, directors and/or teachers during your call and/or visit.

To help you with this process, the state of Georgia has a statewide call center that can assist you in locating quality care for your child. The service is free of charge and can be accessed by phone or on-line. Visit ALL GA KIDS or call 877-ALL-GA-KIDS (877-722-2445) for child care referrals and to learn more about what to look for when selecting care for your child.

121