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Child care

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Introduction to child care

Childcare is a service of ‘care and protection’ offered on compensation for children below 13 years of age. This service can be utilized for any part of the day, less than 24 hours. This service is beneficial for working parents, those attending educational program or those parents who are unable to care for their children. Childcare services are responsible for supervising a child over a period of time including feeding, clothing and other aspects. Licensed, registered and unregulated childcare centers run on a regular basis for compensation.

 

Choosing the right childcare center 

All parents feel their children should grow in a healthy environment and this depends on ‘acquiring safe and positive experiences’ in the growing age, including when they are at school and when parents are at work. This is the time where the parents choose home caregiver’s or childcare centres.

Choosing a particular childcare center, which works out, for particular family is important. If the child is shy and gets sick too often or requires special attention, then, a licensed family childcare can be opted. Family childcare can also be opted if the parents require the siblings to be cared together.

It is very important to know about the child-caregivers.

The childcare center should provide the following.

  • Inculcate a positive attitude
  • Maintain discipline.
  • Have knowledge of how young children learn and grow.
  • Have knowledge of the signs and symptoms when the child is sick.
  • Teach cleanliness and safety practices which helps prevent the children from getting sick or hurt.
  • Provide basic first aid.

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Illness among Children in Childcare Centers

Studies suggest that children going to childcare centers generally suffer from respiratory tract infections like cold, flu and also diarrhea.1,2

The reasons for these may be:

  • Centers care for larger numbers of children and are open over 15 h a day or more.
  • Centers and family childcare homes need to follow good health habits.
  • Equipments not regularly cleaned.
  • Centers or family childcare homes should follow their policies for handling sick children, which may lessen the infection spreading to other children.

Apart from some general problems faced by parents opting for childcare, there are other issues also faced by the parents or the child itself. In such situations, childcare by the parents or the child-caregivers remains as the only option.

      

Childcare in Children with Chronic Health Problems

In case of children who suffer from chronic health conditions, parents must be skilled to deal different areas of caregiving like:

  • Managing the illness.
  • Identifying, accessing and coordinating resources including healthcare providers.
  • Balancing illness and family demands.
  • Maintaining self-care, including physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Dealing with such a situation is often ‘challenging’, but without much support some families are exhausted over a period of time.1A research on such families suggests that the caregivers should support the family in the following areas.
  • Balacing and managing the growth and developmental requirments of the family members.2
  • Provide assistance in decision-making and problem solving skills.3
This kind of support is very essential for such families who are struggling with trouble of care.4 The caregivers should always know that each family has its own uniqueness and the burden varies. Maximum support should be available to such families.5

    

Conclusion

Childcare centers have become an integral part of our society now, due to the increasing population of working parents and dwindling of the traditional joint family system. While this profession can be highly commercialized, there are several centers, which provide good care for children. It is important to exercise caution, while choosing the right care for your children. Additionally, one should also realize the fact that no childcare center can equal parental care and attention.

Written by: healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 13, 2011