Choosing Infant Care

Look for child care providers who:

  • Show warmth and support to infants throughout the day, making eye contact and talking to them about what’s going on.
  • Stay alert to babies’ cues, hold infants or move them to a new place or position, offering variety in what they are able to see or do.
  • Pay close attention and talk to children during routines such as changing diapers, feeding and changing clothes.
  • Talk, sing and read to babies, enabling infants to become familiar with language.
  • Allow babies to eat and sleep when they are most comfortable doing so, and consider infants’ individual preferences for food and styles of eating.
  • Follow standards for health and safety, including proper hand washing to limit the spread of infectious disease.
  • Can see and hear infants at all times.
  • Welcome parents to drop by the home or center.

Avoid caregivers who:

  • Handle children in an impersonal or hurried manner, without letting babies know they are listening.
  • Leave babies in one position for too long or move them around abruptly for the provider’s own convenience.
  • Carry out daily routines without warmth, not making a habit of playing with or talking to babies.
  • Allow babies to spend long periods of time in cribs, playpens or seats without adult attention. Instead of responding to babies’ cues and sounds, ignore or talk over them.
  • Hold babies to rigid schedules of sleeping and eating.
  • Do not have clearly thought-out or written-down procedures for diapering (including hand washing), cleaning cribs and play areas, and preparing and storing food.
  • Leave infants unattended at naptime.
  • Make parents feel as if they are in the way and only inform them about the conflicts or problems of the day.

Guidelines from NAEYC

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