You can take steps towards providing a high quality early care and education environment for the children in your program. Putting thought and care into the following areas of your program can help you to enhance your program quality.
Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP)
When designing your family child care program, you will want to incorporate practices that are developmentally appropriate for the children in your care. Developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) means that you are using knowledge about how children learn and grow to design an appropriate learning environment and experiences for them. Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency can help you with training and resources to incorporate these practices into your child care program.DAP Considerations
Your curriculum is your plan or roadmap of what you want to teach and how to teach the children in your care the skills they need to be prepared for kindergarten. Although there are a number of different curricula available on the market for you to purchase, make sure it includes a focus on each domain of development. Use this resource to help you think about choosing a developmentally appropriate curriculum.Curriculum
Families are a key element in all child care programs. When you build meaningful relationships with families, it shows you are a partner in their child’s development. Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency can help you develop and design family engagement opportunities for the families in your child care program.Family Engagement
One of the most important features of your child care program will be how you and your staff interact with the children in your care. Use the resource below to think about how to increase the quality of interactions with children.Caregiver-Child Interactions
A high-quality indoor learning environment for children includes a number of different learning centers and experiences for children of varying ages and abilities. You will want to think through the different kinds of learning centers/experiences you want for children, where to locate those centers within your home, and the room layout and design. Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency can help you design a quality learning environment.Indoor Environment
Many factors go into designing a high-quality outdoor environment and learning experiences for children. Your family child care program will need suitable outdoor equipment that is the right size and type for the children you serve. There should be plenty of space for children to move about and explore and breathe in the fresh air. There also are a number of safety factors to consider as you design your quality outdoor learning environment, including your drop-off and pick-up locations. Many of these factors may be required by your state licensing agency.Outdoor Environment
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These resources and more are also available in our Family Child Care Provider Resources E-Book.