In Georgia parents can go online and research the history of any licensed daycare at http://decal.ga.gov/providersearch/SiteSearch.aspx?prekonly=y&newsearch=y
The Bright From the Start (Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning) is the state regulatory body that licenses and monitors all daycares in Georgia. Their online portal will allow a parent to review recent inspection reports, complaints, and investigations. Most daycares are inspected at least twice per year. There are also several websites that rate daycares and are worth reading the comments for potential red flags. Yelp.com, Care.com, childcareratingz.com, cribsters.com are just a few that pop up in the top spots on Google.
In addition, Bright From the Start also has a “Quality Rated” program that daycare providers can participate in. To be a “Quality Rated” provider, the provider must complete an application process and be pre-screened by Bright From the Start under more rigorous standards than the minimum requirements. This is how the state describes it:
Any child care program participating in Georgia’s Quality Rated has agreed to meet standards that exceed the state’s licensing requirements and is committed to improving the quality of care it provides to children. Based on the results of a rigorous application process, programs are awarded one star, two stars, or three stars. A star rating – regardless if it is one, two or three stars – indicates a higher quality program. Stars are awarded based on a combination of points gathered from an independent observation and a portfolio that demonstrates that the program meets standards above and beyond what licensing requires. The number of stars simply reflects scores above certain levels. The Quality Rated system was designed so that any parent selecting a program participating in Quality Rated can feel confident that they are enrolling their child in a program that is committed to continuous quality improvement and higher quality standards.
Is your daycare a Quality Rated provider? Check and see: http://qualityrated.org/find-a-quality-rated-program/ While the program is still fairly new (2013) it is gaining momentum and worth considering.
Doing a little background work on your child’s daycare might prevent a lot of heart ache later.
Fill out the form to see if you have a compelling case or call 770-424-1234 / 877-266-3694.
990 Cobb Parkway North Suite 205a
Marietta, GA 30062-9218