When you’re choosing an early learning program, you want to know that your child is in safe hands and that their education is high-quality. Choosing a program is a feat in and of itself, so knowing that the early program is licensed are the beginning steps. Not only are you looking for an accredited facility, but you may want to further investigate the specific policies and procedures of the early learning program you’re considering.
Specific and defined early learning program regulations exist for each state. While licensing is required, it indicates that the early learning program is only meeting the minimum standards that are set, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the program is the highest-quality. If you haven’t yet, browse through our four part series on choosing an early learning program to get a better and whole picture of what to look for in a facility, classroom, and educator.
Is the early learning program licensed?
When you’re looking into an early learning program, always inquire about their operating license. They should be able to confirm that they have one and should be willing to email it to you. If you tour the facility, the license should be visible and distinctly displayed to the public. Again, having this license is important because it is what is minimally required by the state — and that is a beginning step.
Licensing addresses issues as:
- Building safety and inspections. The facility will have undergone safety, health code, and fire inspections to ensure it’s operating under appropriate conditions.
- Child to adult ratios. A license will address and make sure the facility is operating with the minimum requirement of child to adult ratios.
- Max building capacity. The license sets a quota for how many people can occupy the space and regularly follows up to ensure it is being done.
- Teaching and staffing licensing. The license will also inquire proof of teacher licensing, any background checks, and other qualifications set by the state required for employment.
Does the early learning program have specific policies and procedures?
Being a licensed early learning is the first step when considering a facility, but diving deep into their policies and procedures can give you additional insight in the quality of the program. Upon first contact with the program, you should receive a policy and procedure statement. If you do not receive a copy, just ask for one! As you review their specific policies and procedures, make sure you you agree with their outlined care and education — after all, these will be the professionals who are looking after your child for a majority of the day.
Some programs offer a parent handbook that you can flip through and find different issues that are addressed and some require a signature stating that you’ve read the material. Most importantly, when you choose a program it’s important that you have the policies and procedures in writing, so you can refer back to it if the need arises.
ABC Early Learning Academy
At ABC Early Learning Academy, we are happy to have you swing by for a tour and we readily open our lines to clear communication about or policies and procedures. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
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