10 point advisory to parents in selecting a quality daycare / crèche / babysitting
- Do not choose a daycare just because it is cheap. They may be saving on salaries by not appointing proper or enough number of staff.
- Check the credentials of the people/person running the daycare.
- Just having CCTV cameras is not enough, ask the daycare if they check the recordings, and how regularly, also check if parents can check past recordings.
- Ask them about the training given to staff.
- Find out if all staff are police verified and medically free from contagious diseases.
- Does the daycare have an emergency handling procedure.
- Are staff trained in basic first aid like handling choking etc or do they have a nurse on the premise or doctor on call.
- Do they have regular fire drills.
- If food is being served then check hygiene of the kitchen and the person who cooks. If food is brought from a caterer or supplier check the suitability of this vendor.
- Check hygiene of toilets.
- Please ensure that you give training to all your staff especially support staff like bais about the do’s and don’ts’s of handling children. Training must include how to handle children, how not to handle children, washing hands before touching children, wearing gloves when feeding them, tying up hair while cooking or serving, not to blow on a child’s food to cool it , to use separate cloths for cleaning floors, tables, and wiping children’s mouth or bottoms. (you are free to contact us for more details)
- During the training it is important to mention to them that handling children will be done as per the training given to them and not as per their family practices.
- At the end of the training make them sign a letter that states all the points of training and also states that if they are caught breaking any rules then they will lose their job and if found abusing children will be handed to the police.
- Get all bais and other support staff registered at the nearest police station for police verification.
- Get bais and support staff tested for HIV, TB and other important diseases.
- Children should never be left alone with bais and support staff unsupervised.
- Check CCTV footage of new bais daily to understand how they are with kids in your absence.
- If a parent comes to you with a complaint against any of your staff, never cover up for them, this will only make them break more rules.
- Pay your staff well so that they are able to fulfill their duties diligently.
- Do look into the adult–child ratio of your daycare as putting too many children in the care of one adult can cause stress and make them break rules.
We urge all Early Childhood Association member schools to please ensure that for nursery admissions for academic year 2016-17, to please follow age criteria of child completing 3 Years by July 31st, 2016. Also please note states like Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and territories like Delhi have started to strictly implement the same and other states and territories will soon follow.
Child care should not become a curse for young children -
As reported in today's Mumbai Mirror by Jyoti Shelar (21st September 2013, One year old with brain injury responding after 6 months of treatment) shaking young children can spell disaster for young children's growing brains. A one year old baby has suffered neurological damage and has to undergo surgery due to alleged shaking of the child at her day care. What is even more appalling is that the child was handed over to the parent in an unconscious state and reason given was, 'we thought the child is feeling very sleepy today'.
The above incidence draws light on the much needed training that care givers should have before they are put in charge of young children. A day care especially should train their staff in maintaining every day charts of babies sleep and eating patterns. In fact in many countries like Canada, day care centers also have to maintain a record of the 'potty' of young babies, citing the color, quantity and consistency.
Care givers at day cares should receive training about the age group that they would be handling. With more and more working parents depending on daycares for babies as young as 3 months, it becomes imperative that parents choose wisely and companies must provide day care for employees in their premises. Here are some things to be alert and aware about the care of young babies. We urge all the members of EARLY CHILDHOOD ASSOCIATION to share this with their staff, parents and advocate for health and safety in the early childhood years.
Shaken Baby Syndrome is the cause of many deaths and harms the young brain -
Parenting is not easy. Parents need to be honoured for this lifelong commitment they make and at times a parent can lose their cool and end up hitting or shaking their kids. Shaken Baby Syndrome is the cause of many deaths and can also can harm to the brain as shaking may cause your baby's brain to swell, bleed or bruise. Shaken baby syndrome can be caused in the following ways -
- Throwing your baby in the air while playing.
- Not strapping your baby in a baby car seat while travelling with baby in car. The quick succession brakes, potholes, bumps can all cause damage.
- Taking the young baby on dizzy rides or roller coasters.
- Shaking the baby in anger.
- In many instances slapping the baby too hard across the face.
Be careful that the daycare/playschool or home nanny is aware of the above and does not practice these incorrect methods.
One of the mistakes the daycare in this case made is in assuming that the child was just sleeping a lot whereas the child was unconscious. Parents and daycares must know how much sleep does a child require and at what age and should maintain a sleep log for each child. So how much sleep do young children require? It differs from child to child but given here are some guidelines --
- Age 1 - 4 weeks
Sleep : 15 to 16 hours a Day
- Newborns typically sleep in two to four hour blocks both during the night and day.
They are yet to establish their internal biological clock.
- Age : 1-4 months
- Sleep : 14 - 15 hours a day
- Usually able to sleep once for six hours in a row.
- Age : 4 - 12 months
- Sleep : 14 - 15 hours per day
- 2 - 3 naps. Can sleep through the night by age 6 months
- Age : 1 - 3 years
- Sleep: 12 - 14 hours per day
- Toddlers usually lose that second nap. Nap can be 1 - 3.5 hours.
Their nap is anywhere from 1 to 3 &half hours long.
- Age : 3 - 6 years
- Sleep: 10 - 12 hours per day.
- At three, most children still take naps, by 5 most no longer nap.
Another important danger to young babies is SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The safest position to put young babies to sleep is on their back. Keep the following in mind and ensure at the day care too -
- Babies placed on their stomachs to sleep are at greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Place infants on their backs for sleep.
- Provide a firm crib covered by a sheet.
- Keep pillows and stuffed toys out of the crib.
- Make sure the sleeping area is a comfortable temperature to keep infants from becoming overheated.
- That is why we must respect the Indian cradle made of cloth, it not only takes the baby's body shape, but keeps baby safe from SIDS and gives baby the feeling of being safe and coddled just like in the uterus. So time to bring back the Indian cloth cradle.,
Yet another danger that parents and daycares need to be aware about and watch for is that touch should not become trouble for young children.
Touch is essential to babies' sensory-motor development, and has a positive impact on their physical growth, emotional well-being, cognitive potential, and health. Up to five years of age, young children's touch sensitivity remains more on the face than on their hands. And so it is important that adults don't pinch, slap or harm kids on their faces.