Quality Care for Infants

Searching for quality care for your infant or toddler can be an overwhelming task, particularly for new parents. Fortunately, parents can draw on a wealth of information, developed by researchers and practitioners, on the characteristics of quality care for infants and toddlers.

  1. Families can first look for a program that offers activities designed to appeal to all of your baby’s developing senses.
  2. Materials may include soft toys, blocks, and items that can be taken apart and put back together.
  3. Look for caregivers who talk and sing to children, engaging them in listening to the world around them. Infants learn through physical movement, so it is important that the program prepare a safe place for infants to move about. You may want to ask yourself, ‘Does this program feel safe, secure, warm, and comfortable for babies?’
  4. To ensure safety, the caregiver(s) should be able to see and hear all the babies in their care at one time

Remember:

Babies pass through an important developmental milestone between 8 and 12 months. At this time, the infant may develop difficulty with transitions in the day between parents and caregivers. This is a normal phase in your baby’s development; however it may be advisable not to start a new child care program during this time.

Adult-Child Ratios–As with any program, parents should observe the adult-to-child ratios in the child care setting.

For a Small Family Child Care Home, the maximum number of children cared for, including children under age 10 who live in the home, is one of the following:

  • Four infants, or six children, no more than three of whom may be infants.
  • Six children, or up to eight children when one child is at least six years of age and one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school and no more than two infants are in care. Parent notification and property owner consent must be on file.

For a Large Family Child Care Home, the maximum number of children cared for when there is an assistant provider in the home, including children under age 10 who live in the home, and the assistant provider’s children under age 10, is either:

  • Twelve children, no more than four of whom may be infants, or
  • Up to 14 children when one child is at least six years of age and one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school, and no more than three infants are in care. Parent notification and property owner consent must be on file

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) further recommends that the group size be limited to no more than 8 infants or toddlers in one group.

Our trained referral counselors are available to help you find infant and toddler care in your area and answer other questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us at (650) 517-1460, or send us an email to info@sanmateo4cs.org