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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Child care: How to choose?

      Do potential parents realize how challenging choosing child care can be?  It isn't simple for most people who don't have a willing and convenient relative as the solution to this need.  Don't many folks think that making the wrong choice in childcare will stunt their child's development to the point that they will never have a chance to get into that prestigious college?  It is felt that selecting the appropriate child care setting is the beginning of the path to career success.  It maybe time to relax a little and give our kids some time to just enjoy being kids and play a little.
      The choice for child care, besides having a relative for care, comes down to one of three choices.  The first is having a provider come to your house. The convenience of not having to get kids up, dressed, fed and out the door for a trip across town to child care is the big advantage of this type of care.  The second choice is to select a licensed family care provider.  Avoid non licensed day care providers. You lose the convenience of the provider coming to your house but your child will be in a family setting and probably be less expensive than someone coming to your house or a center based care.  My wife provided this type of childcare for over 10 years and I can vouch for the quality of care that many of these providers deliver.  We still get Christmas cards from some of the families almost 20 years later.  Nice to see the kids she watched now having their own families. The third choice is the center based care.  These center will stress how educationally focused they are and may even have some staff with an education background.  However, much of the care will be provided by minimum wage staff.
        To help with knowing more about your options the Howard County Office of Children’s Services  is holding a Preschool/Child Care Information Fair.  The following is the information they sent me on the upcoming fair:

    " Mark your calendars, the date is set, for Howard County’s Department of Citizen Services Preschool/Child Care Information Fair, “Children On Board.” The 2014 Fair will be held on Sunday, January 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ten Oaks Ballroom, 5000 Signal Bell Lane in Clarksville. Admission is free; however, attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Howard County Food Bank."
      " Coordinated by the Department’s Office of Children’s Services, “Children On Board” will provide parents, guardians, grandparents and child care personnel with “one stop shopping” for information on child care, pre-school and summer programs, as well as the opportunity for personal contact with teachers and program directors. Representatives from community service organizations that offer programs and services to Howard County’s young children will also be on hand to provide information to interested parents."
     " For more information about the Fair, contact the Office of Children’s Services at either 410-313-1940 or via e-mail at children@howardcountymd.gov. "


P.S.
   Want to perform at one of CA's Lakefront Wednesday concerts?  Check out their blog to learn the details.

    This info came from CA on the Maggie Brown Scholarships:

"Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Maggie J. Brown Spirit of Columbia Scholarship Award. Up to six $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to graduating local high school seniors who have shown a history of providing community service to benefit Columbia residents and those in the Columbia area. For more than 20 years, Columbia Association (CA) has been recognizing high school seniors for outstanding service to their community. Applications are available online at ColumbiaAssociation.org/Scholarship. Completed applications must be submitted by March 15. The students must live on CA-assessed property, or have a parent/guardian who owns CA-assessed property or works full-time on CA-assessed property. Applicants must be graduating in May/June 2014 from an accredited public, private or parochial high school and need to have a minimum of a “C” cumulative grade point average (2.0). Columbia Association employees, members of Board of Directors or family members of employees or members of the Board of Directors are not eligible to receive the award.  For more information, call 410-715-3161."

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