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Thousands of MN Parents Face Key Decision on Childcare

August 26, 2010

ST. PAUL, Minn. - August isn't just the time to think about back-to-school. It is also the time when parents all across Minnesota are making important decisions about where to send their kids for childcare.

At Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network (MCCRRN), Associate Director Karen Fogolin says August is one of the organization's busiest months. She advises parents to do their homework when making their selection -- look at the physical surroundings, at the childcare plan, and at the people who will be providing care.

"Are the children in her care happy? Does she talk with children often at their own level? Ask what kind of relationship you are going to have with this childcare provider, because it's really a partnership."

Last year, the MCCRRN helped more than 27,000 families select childcare providers. Fogolin notes there is plenty of sound research out there about what quality childcare looks and feels like.

"Care and education are synonymous, so as the child is playing, he is learning; and as the childcare provider is nurturing that child, that child is learning as well. And Child Care Resource and Referral can help families to really understand that."

Fogolin cautions what works for one child or family, may not work for another, so parents need to trust their gut instincts, because they know their child the best.

There are currently more than 300,000 Minnesota children in licensed child care.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MN