What is digital presence?

 
Should natural resources be considered renewable, nonrenewable, or some of each? Why? Hint: Do not respond “both.” 50 words

respond to student post
Tiffany post
 
There are many issues related to finding infant and toddler care such as the lack of available infant and toddler care available in the United States. “With the lack of quality care and the lack of infant programs, in general, many parents feel they have to compromise their standards” (Driscoll 2008). There are also concerns with how much time is appropriate for infants to be in child care setting and finding a balance between this with work and home life. Issues surrounding center versus in home have also been identified as there are benefits and drawbacks to both. There are different options for infant and toddler child care. Some of the options are family members as a caregiver, in home family care, and daycare centers. Caregivers can help families feel secure leaving their infants with them in many ways. Communication is a strong positive aspect that helps both families and caregivers feel safe and secure within their relationships. Communicating information such as needs and notes about the child’s day helps caregivers to prepare for the child and what they will need in the near few hours. This also allows families to feel secure that the caregivers are showing a caring interest for their child. Discussing daily schedules with parents, and sending parents notes throughout the day to inform them of the child’s wellbeing and daily activities creates a positive care giver- parent relationship. My child is enrolled in a center in our town that I have previously worked at. Since leaving the center the center has adopted an app called HiMama for parents of infants and toddlers that updates them with information on their fluids, foods, naps, bathroom, and activity statuses. My first day back to work I remember consistently checking what my son had done. It is a great app that is so beneficial and allowed me to feel safe and secure leaving my child at the center and returning to work.

Tina post
 
There are several options families have for infant care.   
One form of infant care is a family based care; children are cared for by a family member (e.g. grandparent, aunt/uncle, cousin, etc.).  This is usually the most economical.  Many families opt for this as they feel more secure knowing that their child is being cared for by a relative.  One of the main issues with this is often that the relative caring for their child may need time off, become ill or become tired after being with the child throughout the day which is often the case when the grandparent is the caregiver. They may also not be knowledgeable in infant/toddler development.
Another form of childcare is home based.  In home-based care, children are brought to either a licensed/unlicensed childcare that is located in a home.  This option can also be more economical.  There are usually fewer children in a home based childcare and the caregiver is better able to meet the child’s needs.  Some issues related to the unlicensed home-based childcare are that the caregiver may not follow developmentally appropriate guidelines for the children, they may not have the education/knowledge needed to care for young children and they may have varying ages within the realm of their care and the infant may not receive the attention they need throughout the day.  In addition, they are not regulated by the state; there is no one keeping them accountable for caring for the children. 
In a licensed home, the caregiver follows the rules and regulations of the state regarding childcare.  Most states require that licensed childcare staff, including homes caregivers, have some education in early childhood.  The drawbacks are when the caregiver closes the center due to illness or for a vacation and families have to scramble to find outside care.  
Families could also use a babysitter, nanny or an au pair when caring for their children.  This is also more economical when families have more than one child.  The issues are parents often do not know what the caregiver is doing/not doing – I have heard many horror stories regarding a family’s caregiver not watching their children because they fell asleep (they had a video camera at the home), calling in sick all of the time, hurting their child, etc.  In addition, some au pairs are here on temporary visas and have to go back to their home country after a certain time. 
The final option for infant care is a licensed child care center.  In a childcare center, there is often an infant classroom where children ages 6 weeks through approximately 12 months are cared for.  This is often the most expensive option because you have to employ several teachers to aid in the care of little ones.  Most centers that I have worked with had the capacity to care for up to 12 children on a daily basis and the ratio was one teacher for every four children – I believe that NAEYC’s ratio is one to three.  The issues with a child care center for infant care is that it is group care and the infant may not receive the full attention of their caregiver.  The staff have education/knowledge of infant development and are regulated by the state.
Issues Related to Finding Care
As the enrollment coordinator for my center, some of the issues I have come across when interacting with prospective parents include:
Cost – often childcare centers are quite costly and many families find that they work just to pay for childcare (full time infant care can be equivalent to college tuition).
Availability – often times there is a waitlist for infant classrooms.  I have found that many parents wait until they have to go back to work to find care for their child (e.g. they often call me 1-2 weeks before they have to go back to work and I often have to tell them that there is no availability) and often find that there is nothing available for them.  They sometimes have to find care that is not up to their standards until a space in a quality childcare opens up.
Hours – many families do not work 9-5 jobs.  Unfortunately, most childcare facilities are only open from 6:30am – 6 pm and second/third shift parents have to rely on family.
Quality – Many childcare center/home based centers cut corners.  Often times in a childcare center, the administrators tell staff to go home when they get to ratio, thus leaving some teachers by themselves for long periods of time. This could be a safety concern as no one is checking in on the caregiver.  There was one center near me where an infant was killed because the caregiver was alone with four infants, she became frustrated and accidentally killed the child when she shook him too hard (the center was closed down soon afterward and several teachers/administrators went to jail).
Helping Families feel Secure
Parents need to feel as though their child is loved, nurtured and cared for. In order to help parents feel secure about their decision about leaving their children in the care of strangers, my center encourages a meeting before the family begins bringing their child.  This intake meeting allows the caregiver a glimpse in what the parents may be feeling as well as it gives the caregiver a chance to understand what the parents want for their infant. 
In addition, we practice primary caregiving.  Driscoll & Nagel (2008) state that infants need a “close relationship with a nurturing, observant caregiver” (p. 236).  In primary caregiving, the caregiver interacts with specific children and build a bond with them.  This way they know what the child’s schedule is and they build a strong and trusting relationship with the child (as well as with their parents). They also know where the child is developing and can provide activities to stimulate the child’s growth and development.  
Parents need to feel heard and we welcome them into the center at any time.  We also welcome open communication.  We know that it was a hard decision to leave their child and we want them to be a part of their child’s care when they are away.  The teachers communicate via phone calls, emails and we send home a daily note about the care their child received as well as what their child did throughout their day.  We also want the parents to know that their child is learning things throughout the day and we communicate our lessons and activities to them as well via photos sent out in an email. 

 What is digital presence? What is impression management theory? What competing “digital messages” are you sending based on your social media accounts? How can these potentially hurt you if evaluated by an employer? 150 words

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