How to Find Quality Childcare

Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg woman wants to make sure single mothers are educated when it comes to finding good childcare. Her plan is to equip you with the right information to pick quality facilities. Dee Lewis says she started noticing a lot of daycare programs springing up in the urban communities in churches and homes and started to question if mothers really knew who was looking after their children.

"I want these moms to know exactly what a quality daycare looks like and what it should be offering them," Dee Lewis said.

It's a simple concept that Lewis says many moms miss. Her target market is single mothers who may use social services and who are trying to get back on their feet.

"Moms really need to know what questions to ask before they just drop and go. They need to know," Lewis said.

Things like feeding and nap schedules, disciplinary measures, whether a facility is licensed or not, regulations and the list goes on and on.

"Whose going to be with my child during the day? What types of things will my child be learning?" Lewis asked.

It is something United Way's Smart Beginnings program understands very well.

"You just want to know your child is not only in a safe place, a safe environment, you also want that environment to be warm," Central Virginia Director Karen Wesley said.

Wesley says parents should look for a center taking part in a quality improvement process, part of the Virginia Star Quality Initiative. Places like Mary Bethune Academy. VSQI is a voluntary program where centers work one on one with Smart Beginnings for two years to improve the quality of their programs. They also have information on what elements a quality center should have.

"The teacher to child ratio, and you want to know more about the teacher child interactions," Wesley said.

Lewis will be holding a seminar strictly for parents at Dearington and Birchwood Apartments in Lynchburg in the next couple of weeks. But she plans to hold an open community seminar shortly thereafter.

Click here to learn more about VSQI programs.