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Who's caring for your kids?

Golden rules for great childcare


Lots of international research attempts to show us scientifically what is best for our children, but it is hugely complex because, of course, every child is different, every childminder is different and every family is different. As yet, there are no dramatic conclusions from the researchers. But there are five key points that we need to keep at the forefront of our minds when choosing childcare.

1. Babies need lots of love, lots of one-on-one contact and lots of physical closeness.

2. Babies and toddlers need a significant other person that they can attach themselves to emotionally as a substitute when you’re not there.

3. Babies and toddlers need to feel that they are very special and important to the person caring for them.

4. Your childcarer should engage in enthusiastic communication with your children – talking to them, reading to them, asking them questions, responding to their questions, challenging them to attend to others’ feelings and to different ways of thinking.

5. Your child should feel calm, safe and relaxed. Studies have shown small children carrying high levels of the stress hormone cortisone in nursery settings, even though they weren’t crying or looking unhappy.

All of which leads us to conclude that the person who will be doing  the childminding is more important than the building in which the childcare is taking place (basic safety and hygiene aside).

Remember when you gave birth? The care and attention of the midwife became everything and the decor of the maternity unit mattered little.


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