Parent Corner

Why Choose Erie First?

In an article entitled, “5 Steps to Choosing Care”,childcareaware.org recommends to all parents that in addition to state licensing requirements, you look for and question these5 specific areas in any potential childcare facility:

Adult to Child Ratio -Ask how many children there are for each adult. The fewer children present for each adult, the better for your child. You want your child to get plenty of attention. The younger your child, the more important this is. Babies need an adult to child ratio of no more than 1:4 (one adult for four infants), while four-year-olds can do well with a ratio of 1:10 (one adult for 10 children).

Erie First maintains, at a minimum, the state mandated ratios of 1:4 infants, 1:5 young toddlers, 1:6 older toddlers, and 1:10 preschoolers. When available, we often have “floaters” as additional adult hands in the various classrooms.

Group Size- Find out how many children are in the group. The smaller the group is the better. Imagine a group of 25 two-year olds with five adults, compared to a group of 10 with two adults. Both groups have the same adult to child ratio. Which would be calmer and safer? Which would be more like a family?

Erie First typically maintains groups of no more than 1:4 infants, 1:5 young toddlers, 1:6 older toddlers, and 1:10 preschoolers. Our (3-hour) Pre-K programs will often have between 10 – 20 students in attendance with additional teachers to give students an idea of what Kindergarten will be like.

Caregiver Qualifications – Ask about the caregivers’ training and education. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to help your child learn. Are the caregivers involved in activities to improve their skills? Do they attend classes and workshops?

All staff members at Erie First are not only certified, (or working toward certification), but many of them have their Bachelor’s &/or Master’s Degrees in Education. All of our teachers are committed to regular, on-going training and education.

Turnover – Check how long caregivers have been at the center. It’s best if children stay with the same caregiver at least a year. Caregivers who come and go make it hard on your child. Getting used to new caregivers takes time and energy that could be spent learning new things.

Erie First has a remarkable teacher retention rate and believes in continuity in the classrooms.

Accreditation – Find out if the child care provider has been accredited by a national organization. Providers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than most state licensing requirements.

Erie First has been accredited through since 2008, and is scheduled to pursue re-accreditation prior to 2016.Erie First is also licensed by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Welfare, and is a Keystone STARS facility.