[R76] Rep. McNamara: Connecting parents to high quality options (6/19/2012)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Start Date: 6/19/2012 All Day
End Date: 6/19/2012
Child Care Online
Connecting parents to high quality options

Current research shows that from birth to age five, a child’s brain is the most prime for brain development, with over 90 percent of brain growth occurring during this period. This statistic tells us that a child’s environment and the individuals they interact with in those early years have a vital impact on their development.

Recognizing the necessity of wanting to enroll Hoosier children in high quality, early learning atmospheres, the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) recently launched a new online tool to help connect parents to high quality childcare options.

Child Care Online is a new free tool that allows parents to compare child care programs, use technology to take virtual tours of facilities, and learn about safety records and other important benchmarks. This new instrument will provide images of teaching and learning areas, food service capabilities, toileting facilities and recreation areas and equipment.

This initiative is being launched in support of Paths to QUALITY, our state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system for child care programs. All of Indiana’s counties have participating programs. The tool can be accessed by visiting: www.childcareindiana.org.

Finding the right, high‐quality child care provider can be a challenging task for parents. This new tool will provide access to necessary and helpful information.

Finally, we are continually looking for ways to better serve Hoosier children, especially the most vulnerable. This summer an interim study committee is charged with reviewing the Department of Child Services’ new reporting hotline for alleged abuse and neglect claims.

All of us want to make sure we have the best possible system in place to protect innocent children from potential harm and we will be reviewing DCS operations to continue to look for ways to improve. If you are interested in participating or tracking the progress of this committee this summer, please go to www.in.gov/legislative/interim/committee/index.html