17 Skills to Search for in your Childcare Provider


As children across the midstate slip on their new backpacks and stream back into buses and classrooms, many new parents may also be heading back to work. 

Finding safe, high-quality childcare for your little ones should not be a big stressor if you do a little homework yourself. 

As an adjunct instructor for the newly crafted Childcare certificate and associate degree programs at Central Penn College in East Pennsboro Twp., our rigorous curriculum proves that childcare workers are far more than babysitters, with all due respect to the important role that babysitters play.  While babysitters are likely to be wonderful and welcome weekend “relief pitchers” for tired parents, our childcare certificate and degree holders come equipped with more training, experience and responsibilities than the young teen who might be watching Netflix on the couch with your little ones on Friday and Saturday nights.  

An early childhood professional possesses specialized education and training in child development, psychology, and early education. Parents should not hesitate to ask if their childcare professionals hold degrees or certifications in early childhood education or childcare management and are equipped to understand and support young children’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development.

If so, these workers will prove to be adept at creating engaging and developmentally appropriate activities that promote learning, growth and self-esteem. They will also know how to manage challenging behaviors effectively and foster a nurturing and supportive environment for children, encouraging both independence and positive self-esteem.

A high-quality childcare professional should exhibit a multitude of key traits that include  patience, empathy, effective communication skills, creativity, flexibility, observation skills, safety consciousness, teamwork, organizational skills, a passion for child development, a respect for diversity, problem-solving abilities, resilience, and ethical behavior –and that’s just for starters! 

Augmenting those assets, they should have key training that includes CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, basic first aid, child development, health and safety regulations, child abuse recognition and reporting, behavior management, communication skills, inclusion and diversity, emergency preparedness, and record-keeping. Ongoing professional development helps childcare workers stay up-to-date on best practices and provide high-quality care. 

When seeking quality childcare, families should check these 17 must-haves off their back-to-school list:

  • A clean and hygienic environment to ensure the health and safety of children. 
  • Secure premises with locked doors that provide added security. 
  • An open-door policy, which fosters trust and parental involvement. 
  • Effective communication with families to keep parents informed. 
  • Strict pick-up policies that prioritize children’s safety. 
  • Low caregiver-to-child ratios that allow for personalized attention and nurturing care. 
  • Well-qualified and trained staff 
  • Age-appropriate learning and play that stimulate a child’s development. 
  • Safe outdoor play areas that promote physical activity. 
  • Nutritious meals that cater to dietary needs. 
  • Developmental assessments and progress reports to keep parents informed. 
  • Cultural sensitivity that creates a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. 
  • Quality learning materials that enhance cognitive development while nurturing emotional well-being. 
  • A sensitivity to children with special medical needs, whether it’s allergies, ADHD, diabetes, ear infections, or more complex medical needs. Parents should provide proper training and authorization for medication administration. They should also provide detailed information on any medication that must be administered, submit written authorization, and provide medication in its original packaging. Clear communication, an emergency plan, and proper training are essential. Parents can expect their child’s medical information to be treated with the utmost privacy and confidentiality. 
  • A balanced daily schedule, for meals, naps, activities and play time. 
  • Emergency preparedness, such as fire drills and snow removal, to ensure safety. 
  • An inclusive environment that values diversity, and family involvement opportunities that encourage active participation.

As parents return to workplaces in post-pandemic times, the demand for high-quality childcare workers has never been greater. If you want to become a caregiver and be the valued solution to a parent’s caregiving needs, please contact Central Penn at admissions@centralpenn.edu.  Thanks to you and your education, the next generation will receive the essential education, care and guidance needed to flourish in today’s rapidly evolving world.



Nancy Moretti, Ed.S., has a30-year track record in early childhood education, leadership, and academia, with her professional journey including roles as a teacher, director, administrator, department chair, and associate dean. She is crafting an effective curriculum for Central Penn College’s childcare management programs.  

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