Child Care

Adopted March 1989 – Reviewed and deemed relevant March 2012 – Community Concerns and Family Engagement Commissions – Revised August 2018

California State PTA believes that provision of quality child care is a shared responsibility of parents/guardians, providers, appropriate governmental agencies, business and industry, and the community at large. California State PTA also recognizes the need for a wide variety of programs and services to address the diverse child care needs of families throughout the state and the differing needs of children of various ages.

Studies have found that high quality child care programs have certain characteristics in common. These characteristics can help parents make better child care choices for their children because they indicate a much greater likelihood of high quality care. Quality indicators measure the conditions that generally foster a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for children.

California State PTA believes that the minimum indicators of program quality include:

  • A safe, secure, healthy, developmentally appropriate, and stimulating environment (home-, school-, or center-based) that enhances the physical, social-emotional, linguistic, cultural, creative and cognitive development of all enrolled children;
  • A current, valid state child care provider license;
  • Facilities appropriate to the type of care and ages of children, including adequate indoor and outdoor space as defined in state licensing requirements;
  • Low child to teacher ratios and small group sizes fostering positive teacher/child interactions;
  • Staff who are adequately trained in early childhood education and child development and who receive ongoing training;
  • A policy that forbids the use of corporal punishment;
  • A written description of programs and services that includes an explanation of developmental appropriateness of activities and materials made available to parents/guardians and concerned agencies;
  • An open door policy for parents/guardians and opportunities for family engagement in all aspects of the program, including policy, administration and curriculum.

California State PTA supports:

  • Uniform licensing standards for child care centers;
  • Background and criminal checks on all personnel, volunteers, and any other adults who may reside in the facility;
  • Strengthening of the state’s facility inspection program;
  • Child care homes to have liability insurance or a bond covering injury to clients and guests;
  • Crisis and natural disaster preparedness checklist given to all parents/guardians and posted at centers;
  • Personnel of child day care facilities (day care centers, family day care homes and out of school youth centers) to have current certification in preventive health practices including pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and pediatric first aid;
  • High standards for preparation and continuing education of child care teachers and providers, with the state taking a leadership role in providing educational programs for teachers and providers;
  • Adequate salaries for child care providers in order to attract and maintain quality personnel;
  • Tax incentives for employers to provide on-site or off-site child care and/or related options for employees, including flex time, job sharing and/or use of benefit packages;
  • State and federal tax deduction credits for child care costs;
  • Increased public and private funding for program improvements and expansions;
  • Increased cooperation between government, community, agencies and business in providing for child care services that meet the unique needs of each community;
  • Public policy at state and local levels that includes incentives for, and removes obstacles to, employer involvement in addressing the child care needs of working parents/guardians;
  • State support of high quality child care, including a wide variety of program types and services;
  • School- or community-based child care resource, referral and provider centers that:
    • Serve as referral agencies for child care services within the community;
    • Are resources to support and monitor providers; and
    • Ensure quality care for preschool and school-aged children including children with special needs;
  • Monitoring of recreational programs to ensure quality, safety, and adequate supervision of children.
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