Step Up To Quality Stories

When It Comes to Child Care, What Exactly Does Quality Mean?

For first-time parents, searching for child care can be overwhelming, confusing and exhausting.

“It’s the most important decision they’ll make as new parents,” said Step Up to Quality Director Lauri Cimino.

No pressure or anything.

Especially if parents are not familiar with the world of early childhood education – it’s diving into a whole new world of acronyms and teaching philosophies and endless opinions from other parents.

New mom Shannon felt disoriented when searching for child care while she was pregnant. Why did the teachers look like they were wearing pajamas at some places? Are video cameras necessary? Should the location be close to home, or to work?

Ultimately, she had one main question: “What exactly does quality mean?”

Step Up to Quality is here to help.

“Child care providers who are participating in Step Up to Quality are exhibiting a true commitment to quality early childhood education,” Lauri said.

Which means Step Up to Quality’s search tool is a parent’s one-stop shop when searching for quality child care.

Providers go through a five-step process – but all providers, whether at a Step One or a Step Five, are going above and beyond normal licensing requirements to demonstrate their main priority is the safety, health and growth of the children in their care.

Further, it means they’re also committed to continuous improvement and open to learning more. They’re investing in their staff, they’re evaluating their curriculums, they’re researching new educational techniques and more.

“Step Up to Quality provides a framework and lots of resources to help child care directors and teachers provide the best environment for children to grow and develop,” Lauri said.

View (and share!) Shannon and Lauri’s conversation in the video below: