When both parents work and there isn’t family members nearby to watch children on a daily basis, often times the next best option is placing the child in a day care program or with someone who is not related to the family. Stats as recent as 2010 show that nearly 15% of children between the ages of 5–8 years old whose mothers’ were employed use a center-based care. Additionally, in the same age range, a little over 10% of children are in the care of non-relatives. In the younger age range of 0–4 years of age, 24% of children were in center-based care and 14% were in the care of a non-relative.
When a child is being cared for outside the family and not in their home, it can be scary for the parents. Problems do exist in day cares and non-relative caretakers’ homes. Recently, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted a study to identify safety hazards in 220 licensed childcare settings. The study found that two-thirds of the child care settings had at least one of the safety hazards targeted by the CPSC. Also, annually 31,000 children visit the emergency room for injuries sustained while in day care or in the care of a non-relative.
When placing a child in a day care or the care of a non-relative, there are steps to take to make sure the location and those caring for a child are safe. Below we have linked many documents and websites from around the web. If you’re thinking about or have any concerns about your child’s care when you are at work, please view them.
- Daycare Safety Checklist PDF (injuryfree.org)
- Safety Tips for Childcare Facilities (Livestrong.com)
- Childcare S.A.F.E. Tips (National Program for Playground Safety)
- Family Child Care and Child Care Center Checklist (NC Dept. of Human Services)
- Choosing a Daycare Provider (iVillage)
- What to look for in a daycare (Macon.com)
If you know of any resources or have any tips you do not see covered in the resources above, please feel free to share them in the comments sections.