Choose children’s caregivers carefully

The Shelby County Daycare Association held its annual mini-marathon at Christ Church off Caldwell Mill Road on Saturday, Jan. 30.

Thirty-one caregivers attended the event.

Presenters were from United Way, Jefferson County Child Development Council, Learning Expressions and Alabama Public Television Services.

The fields of discipline, health and safety, child development, language development and childcare professionalism were topics discussed during this daylong session. Certificate and credit hours were awarded to all attendees.

To be a licensed daycare provider, a person must maintain a minimum of 20 training hours per year in these disciplines. Assistants need 10 hours of annual training.

These hours may be obtained through seminars, monthly meetings of the daycare association, which are held at the First Presbyterian Church in Alabaster, library information, Internet facilities and other Department of Human Resources-approved sites.

Also, a provider must receive training and be certified in both CPR and first aid.

The Shelby County Daycare Association was formed in June 1991 because of the need for training, member interaction, moral support, sharing of problems and solutions, hospitality, fellowship and to generally direct the growth of the group.

By becoming a member of the association, a daycare provider will have a voice in what’s happening in the home daycare field. He or she can find out how different providers handle their daycare children, learn great places for “daytrips,” learn how to explain to the parents’ satisfaction reasons for rate increases, rules enforcement, hours of operation, vacation policies, sick days and discipline-related problems.

Eileen Lee of Helena served as the first president, 1991-1993. This year’s new president is Patsy Kendrick.

The Shelby County Department of Human Resources and the Jefferson County Child Development Council play a large part in supporting the activities and functions of the Shelby County Daycare Association.

If you are looking for a home daycare provider for your child, please be aware not everyone is licensed and certified.

In order to insure that you are dealing with certified and trained caregivers you should contact the Shelby County Department of Human Resources.

They can provide you with a list of certified home daycare providers to help you make your calls and visits.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.