If you know where to look, you can quickly and efficiently stay on top of your child’s best interests. Check out this list of resources that can help.
This website is a powerful tool for parents. Use it to look for a child care provider or to check in on your child’s current provider. You’ll be able to view detailed safety inspection records. Note: The state has very strict (and rightly so!) standards for child care providers. It’s very normal to see minor infractions, which are dubbed “Class 3” violations. The most severe violations are categorized as “Class 1.”
Georgia’s child care inspection reports are very similar to Florida’s (see above description). The Georgia inspections are not rated by class, however, but rather each requirement is listed either as Met, Partially Met, or Not Met. In both states, there are detailed explanations about the requirements and how the provider fell short.
Keeping up with High-Tech Kids
Sadly, we can’t pretend to keep up technologically with our kids, “The Digital Generation,” who were born into this computer age. Thankfully, there’s a little help out there: The Online Mom. This lady’s technology chops are almost as quick as a 12-year-old’s, and that’s really saying something.
Few networks are as powerful as a group of moms on a mission. SEGeorgia Mommies is a free community for moms in Camden, Brantley, Glynn, Wayne and Charlton counties in Georgia as well as Nassau County in Florida. Registration required. The site features discussion forums, playgroups, chats and more.
School websites have become incredible tools for parents. There are calendars, teacher blogs, often (with an access code) students’ grades. You can load lunch money onto an account for your child. Start below at the districts’ links, which are full of county-wide information. There are links on each site to each of the districts’ specific schools.
If you’re seeking statistical data, check out your state’s education department website. It’s loaded with information about schools and how they perform.
Here’s a direct link to Florida’s school grades database.
Here’s a direct link to Camden County School District’s Report Card
Learning for free through iTunes U
Being a busy parent doesn’t mean you can’t pursue your own interests and education. There’s a huge online database of college class videos addressing every topic you can think of. You can access these videos from schools as prestigious as Harvard University free through iTunes U. Just use your regular iTunes account (or if you don’t have one, you can download it, also for free) to search for a class you’re interested in. Believe it or not, that’s how Mamamelia.com got started: this mama sat down during baby’s nap time to learn about starting a website. Check out Apple’s website about iTunes U.
Sex Offender Registries
As much as we hate to have to check the local sex offender registry, being aware is a part of being a good parent. I once met a dad who found out his child’s bus stop was in a sex offender’s driveway. Thanks to this tool, the bus stop location was immediately changed. These registries are very user-friendly: if you want to find out generally if there are sex offenders in your neighborhood, you can search by location. You can also search by name if you’re concerned about someone specific. The Florida registry also has a tool to search e-mail and instant message names for known predators.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sex Offender Registry
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Sex Offender Registry