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Letter: Child care choices matter

As Minnesota children settle into their summer care routines, many parents breathe a sigh of relief. Arranging care that engages their older children, maintains the routine of their small ones and offers some fun for all is a major lift. The truth is, parents face complex child care questions year-round. They understand their child care choices matter. They know that, because 90 percent of brain development takes place before age 5, nurturing, learning-based care is the key to peace-of-mind at work and strong futures for their little ones.

The good news is parents are experts on the needs of their own children. When this expertise is coupled with help finding and identifying top-notch care, worried parents becomes empowered consumers and strong advocates for their children. This type of support and counsel is available in our community through Child Care Resource and Referral.

Parents using and choosing child care should keep these proven tips for spotting excellent care in mind:

Child care professionals talk with children and listen to what they have to say.

Child care professionals pursue expertise and training to help them better prepare children for school.

Children are cared for in small groups and receive the attention they need from adults.

The child care space is clean and the care professional has a plan in place to keep children safe and healthy.

Activities are planned throughout the day that are interesting and involve each child.

Minnesotans should note:

76 percent of our state's families use child care.

When compared with children who spend their early years in low-quality care, children who receive excellent child care are shown to be more likely to graduate from high school and to be better prepared for the workforce.

The bottom line is, we all do better when our children receive safe and loving care each day To learn more, visit:

To speak with a trained child care specialist call 1-888-291-9811.