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Modern society is saturated with information, and parents are also overwhelmed by children care and development information and believe that the earlier they send the kids to learn something, the better the kids’ chances to prevail are. In fact, the learning that children of pre-school ages need is not about skills, but to know themselves and this world; what they really need at this period of time are:

1.Learning motor skills: Larger movements like walking, running, and jumping, and smaller movements like flipping books and shaping clay; motor skill developments like these are critical for children’s ability to take care of themselves and school studies in the future.
2.Learning interpersonal skills:Learning to be patient, to take turns, to share, and to mingle with friends - these are the cornerstones for children to know themselves and work and communicate with others.
3.Learning linguistic communication skills: Pre-school age is the period essential to linguistic development; the better the linguistic skills are developed, the better they may express their ideas. This is also the foundation for future developments in reading, writing, and school studies.
4.Learning creative thinking and problem solving:The world that children will face in the future will be a world beyond our imagination. By encouraging children to think independently when they solve problems, they will establish more self-confidence, with which they will be better equipped to deal with difficulties waiting for them in future times.

 

Therefore, parents should allow children to have chances to explore in a safe environment and adopt teaching methods adequate for the children’s ages and individual needs, and then children will be able to develop self-confidence, motivation in studies, and problem-solving capacities. There is nothing wrong with learning English or other skills, but these should not be the entirety of children’s learning. If children are deprived of sufficient exercise, unable to adequately manage their own daily routines and observe discipline, and, perhaps, not even able to make friends, then they are heading toward the wrong way; without a solid basic skillset, children may experience difficulties in learning during the later stages of their lives.

 

Tips for Choosing Infant Care Centers and Preschools
Tip 1: Choose duly registered infant care centers and preschools
A duly registered infant care center or preschool must qualify under stringent criteria stipulated by the government, including but not limited to facility space, equipment safety, faculty-to-student ratio, childminders’ and educare giver’s credentials, fire code, exercise space for children, school bus, and the bus driver’s qualification. Annual public safety inspections are also mandatory. With the watchful eyes of the government monitoring childcare quality for you, your beloved babies will have a much better protected childcare environment.

Tip 2: Do your homework
You need to collect information about infant care centers or preschools, such as the governing laws and regulations applicable for registration of an infant care center or preschool, what constitutes an excellent performance rating, and opinions from other experienced parents. Such information will be very helpful. You also need to write down your requirements for an infant care center or preschool, such as your budget, hours of childcare required, and the person responsible for transportation.

Tip 3: Site inspections at infant care centers or preschools:

1. Please look for registration certificates displayed, and verify the details stated on the certificate;
2. Examine the environment and equipment on site;

3. Administration and management: For example, check if the institute adopt the principles and ideas that fit your own, and whether or not the institute routinely publishes its calendar;

4. Ideas about childcare and education: For example, check if the teachers respect and show compassion for children (such as listening attentively when children are talking and interacting with infants/children in a considerate manner), and whether or not the childcare and teaching activities are designed to adequately accommodate infants’/children’ physical/mental development needs, as well as the arrangement of daily schedules.

5. Hygiene and safety: For example, whether or not health examinations are conducted for infants/children, whether or not good practice of hygiene is encouraged among the infants/children - like brushing teeth after meals and washing hands correctly, whether or not teaching tools and toys are routinely washed and sterilized, and whether or not a sound medicine distribution system is in place.

6. Communicate with the person in charge, director, principal, and teachers regarding childcare and teaching ideas; understand whether or not the childcare and teaching activities and designs adopted by the infant care center of the preschool match your expectations.

7. Ask for opinions from other parents to learn about how the institute operates.

8. Visit the institute with your babies and allow your babies to experience the ambience of the infant care center or preschool, and, wherever possible, ask the institute to arrange a discovery stay or study.

9. Some institutes allow parents to accompany their children for a few days to help the infants/children better adapt to the environment, so please make time accordingly to support your children’s adaptation to the new environment.

10. Faculty ratio: According to the Taipei City Children Welfare Institute Establishment Standard and Self-Governance Regulations: An institute giving care to children 2 months to 2 years of age should have one nurse, educare giver, or assistant educare giver per every 5 infants/children admitted; institutes with less than 5 infants/children admitted shall adopt the standard for 5 admitted.

11. Access management: Whether or not an infant care center or preschool practices access control as prescribed, whether or not a protocol for pick-ups and drop-offs is in place – such as a badge being required for infants/children pick-ups/drop-offs, or telephone confirmation with the parent (guardian), infant care center, or preschool is required if a person who is not the parent (guardian) of an infant/child picks up or drops off the infant/child.

Tip 4: Consensus of long-term childcare
After the decision of childcare has been made, discuss with the infant care center or preschool about care details and other concerns, such as charges, refunds, pick-ups/drop-offs, sickness, and emergency protocols. After committing a child to an infant care center or preschool, don’t forget to maintain frequent contact with the teachers and the child to check how the infant/child is adapting to the infant care center or preschool.

 

These tips should be helpful when choosing the infant care center or preschool that best matches your children. However, after the care has started, you, as a parent, should keep close contact with the infant care center or preschool and actively participate in parent-child activities organized by the infant care center or preschool to guarantee the childcare quality for your child.

 

Also, remember that not even the best infant care center or preschool can replace the role of a parent. Hiring childcare services does not relieve you of your responsibilities of taking care of your child. Instead, you must establish mutual trust and good communication with the infant care center or preschool, and jointly care for your child, understand your child’s requirements, and give your child a warm and happy childhood.

Types of childcare institute

Types of childcare institute Admittance Inquiry
Infant care center Infants/children less than 2 years of age

Private infant care centers in Taipei City


Government authorized private infant care centers in Taipei City

Preschool Children 2 years of age to pre-elementary school age Public and private preschools in Taipei City
After-school childcare center (day care center) Elementary school children

After-school childcare centers in Taipei City