When making a decision to purchase a home, the educational options and school choices in the area should be a major factor in your decision, both for yourself and future homeowners. The Triangle area has many education options, including those for the very youngest children before they enter formal schooling.
Early childhood programs come in many shapes and sizes, allowing you to accommodate your work schedule and your budget, with locations ranging from in residences, churches and commercial buildings.
In the state of North Carolina, programs that are open for more than four hours a day and care for more than two unrelated children must be licensed by the Division of Child Development. More information on programs licensed by the Division of Child Development can be found here.
Licensed programs must meet many standards, including sanitation regulations. Programs may also opt to apply for a star-rated license that ranges from one to five stars based on the programmatic elements, the staff’s education, and the teacher to child ratios and group size.
When choosing an early childhood program for your child, there are many factors to consider. The National Association for the Education of Young Children provides a guide for families of what to look for based on your child’s age: infant, toddler, preschool and school age. More information on picking the right early childhood program can be found here.
It is important to visit programs of interest in person and get a feel for the environment and observe teachers in action as they interact with children. You will also want to gather information about the ratio and group size (the less children per teacher the better), staff education and requirements, staff turnover, philosophy and curriculum, and other logistical information, such as schedule offerings, tuition and fees, etc.
Every family has a unique vision for the type of program they would like for their child. However, the overarching sign of quality is a program that is intentional in the choices they make for children and families and are able to articulate their philosophy and beliefs. That way a family can be confident and comfortable that the program is a good fit for their child and family.
For more resources and referrals to specific programs in the Triangle area, visit Child Care Services Association.
This information was provided by my wife, Michelle Tuttle, M.Ed., an owner and operator of an early childhood program since 2005. She has almost 20 years of experience in a variety of early childhood programs and professional organizations.
Want to learn more about early childhood education in the Triangle?
About Ricky Hargrave.
Ricky Hargrave is a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Chapel Hill office.
A Triangle native with a degree from Appalachian State University, Ricky has sought ways to meet new people and be a part of his community.
“Those experiences and my passion and skills for working with others in my community has informed my work in real estate. The rules I live by in business are treating people kindly and fairly and working my best to meet people’s needs,” says Hargrave.
His wife is an early childhood educator and owns Estes Children’s Cottage, a small child care program for one-,two-, and three-year-olds in Chapel Hill. Her passion for the children and families she serves inspires me each day.
In his spare time, Ricky enjoys skiing, traveling and spending time with his family. He has a great interest in houses, neighborhoods, and his local community.
Ricky is a member of the Orange County Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.
Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region. FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit www.fmrealty.com.