August 28, 2017
Rebecca Quinn, like most child care providers, is familiar with the many resources available to support young children and their families. After 20 years in the Maryland child care field, she’s developed a wealth of resources that have proven to be essential to her success as a provider. She also demonstrates the use of information and community resources in her program, which is part of the Administrative Policies and Practices content area within the Maryland EXCELS standards.
As the owner of her child care program, Becky’s Family Daycare, Rebecca has utilized both special education services and community resources. One that she has found very useful is Child Find. Offered in every county throughout the state, Child Find provides support to families, providers, and teachers for children who have developmental delays or atypical development.
“[Child Find] comes in and helps you to help your child,” Rebecca said. “It’s an excellent program for early child care providers.”
Child Find, with the consent of the child’s parents, can provide guidance on how to best support the child in the classroom. For Rebecca, they were able to come in to work with her and a child in her program to suggest positive alternatives for redirecting that child’s behavior.
Child Find assisted when Rebecca cared for a child in need of speech therapy; they were able to send a therapist directly to her program to work with the child in their natural environment.
In her program, Rebecca also utilizes many of the community resources. With outdoor time ranking high on her list of favorite activities, the local elementary school provides the perfect spot for playing group games like soccer and baseball, and for activities like bug exploration!
“It is nice to get outside and learn about new things in [the children’s] environment,” Rebecca said. “It gives [them] opportunities for free play and sharing the outdoor equipment.”
The Baltimore Zoo also provides the children a chance to see the outdoors and animals they have studied throughout the curriculum. Additionally, because Rebecca teams up with two other providers in her area, they get a group discount to make the trip more affordable. Going as a group also benefitted the children in other ways.
“It was great to have other providers go because we all looked after each other’s children too,” Rebecca said. “For example, a provider could lift [a] child up to see the animals if they were too small to see, or a provider was able to take the time to explain characteristics about an animal because there were additional adults to help supervise the other children.”
Another opportunity Rebecca shares with the providers in her community is a library day. One provider will host the event at their program, with the other programs gathering there. Then, a local librarian will visit and conduct a 45-minute program filled with educational games, activities, and readings for the children.
“The librarian brings books … and the children get to choose one to enjoy during her visit,” said Rebecca.
She finds that not only does it help the children gain literacy and language skills, but by teaming with other providers, her children are able to interact in bigger groups helping them socially prepare for kindergarten.
Rebecca also takes advantage of other resources available through the Abilities Network and the Harford County Child Care Association to help her reach a higher Quality Rating level in Maryland EXCELS.