There are many different kinds of daycare centers. But what do we really know about them? Do the caregivers respond to the children’s needs? Do these centers collaborate with parents? In the interest of greater transparency, the Jacobs Foundation and kibesuisse, a Swiss organization in the early childhood education and care sector, launched the QualiKita initiative. The Switzerland-wide QualiKita label, which certifies the performance of daycare centers, is intended to improve quality.
The quality of a daycare center plays a crucial role in a child’s social and emotional readiness for preschool or elementary school. But many parents have no idea what quality means in this context. It certainly doesn’t mean teaching Chinese to toddlers. Rather, it’s about providing a stimulating environment, responding to children’s needs and allowing them to develop social and cognitive skills in a playful environment. The work that the staff members of a daycare center do every single day is demanding and an important responsibility.
QualiKita, launched in 2013, introduced the first uniform, comprehensive standards for evaluating Swiss daycare centers with the goal of improving quality and providing a means of recognizing outstanding performance. Over the coming years, the hope is that daycare centers and agencies throughout Switzerland will adopt these standards, which will allow them to provide the conditions children need for successful development.