What You Should Ask Yourself When Looking for a Daycare Center
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Originally Posted On: https://bippermedia.com/what-you-should-ask-yourself-when-looking-for-a-daycare-center/
As a parent, sending your child to a daycare center can be a challenging act. Whether this is your first time finding a facility or you’re looking for a new center for your child, discovering the perfect fit can be difficult.
Many other parents also feel uneasy sending their child to a daycare center, but with the right research and resources, you can rest assured that you will find the right fit for you and your child. Keep reading for more information on what to look for in a daycare center.
How Does the Staff Interact with the Children?
The staff in a daycare center should be friendly and inviting toward the children and engage with them in age appropriate ways. When you visit daycare facilities, observe how the staff plays with children of different ages.
Young children need more hands-on care with loving and affectionate adults. Older children need to be able to explore and engage with others more independently. Ask yourself, “does the daycare facility and the staff meet the needs of my child at their age?”
You should also look at the staff-to-child ratio. Are there enough trained adults staffed to adequately care for the children? For example, a room of four children, aged 13-35 months should have at least one caregiver. A room of 8 children aged 4 years old should have at least one trained staff member.
Finding a daycare center where the staff is trained, they know how to take care of children at specific ages, and the center has enough staff to properly care the children are important for your child’s wellbeing.
What are the Daycare Center’s Health and Safety Qualifications?
Health and safety are probably one of your most important qualifications for a daycare center, and the center you choose should also value those qualities.
Health and safety qualifications to look for are:
- A clear procedure for signing in and signing out children
- Policies on handling medications, allergies and illnesses
- A certification and registration with the local government to operate a daycare facility
- Required background checks for the staff to ensure they should be taking care of children
- The staff should go through health and safety training including how to perform CPR, first-aid procedures, giving children their medications, recognizing child abuse and neglect, emergency preparation for natural disasters, and child development among others.
- The indoor and outdoor space of the facility is clean and free of hazards
- Cleaning products are stored safely and out of reach of children
- Toys and other playthings are disinfected and cleaned regularly
- The food provided to children (if applicable) is nutritious and appetizing
- The daycare center has adequate physical activities for the children
The daycare center you choose should not be lacking in health and safety areas. It’s best to find one that is credible, has all the required credentials and cares about the wellbeing of the children and the staff who looks after them.
What Activities Does Daycare Offer Children?
In the same way the staff should know how to interact with children of different ages, the activities provided to the children should also be age appropriate. When looking at different daycare facilities, figure out the types of games, readings, and interactive activities they offer for the children.
The activities should engage the children and promote educational development. There should be a balance of physical activities, drawing or writing activities, and downtime activities. Ultimately, you as the caregiver should determine what kind of curriculum and activities you want your child to participate in.
You can look at daycare centers’ websites for a list of the activities and programs they offer the children, and then you can figure out if that suits your needs.
What are the Hours of Operation?
Finding a daycare center for your child also depends on the hours you need them to be taken care of. Do you need a half-daycare facility or do you need a full work day? Can you enroll your child in a half-week program or a full week program? Are there after school programs? Asking these questions will help you make decisions for which facility works best with your schedule.
What Do Other People Say About This Daycare?
Reading reviews online is a great way to understand how other parents and guardians feel about the services provided by the facility. The daycare center you choose should have stellar reviews about the cleanliness, staff friendliness, and health and safety procedures. In addition to the online reviews, you can ask a daycare facility for references, so you can talk to people who actually use the center.
If there’s not much information or reviews available about a daycare center, you might want to keep looking. High engagement from parents and guardians online, on social media, and in person is a good sign and typically means that this center cares for the children and their families.
Final Thoughts on Daycare Centers
While no daycare center is going to be perfect, that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your values to find a suitable daycare. This article details some key questions to ask yourself and things to look out for when choosing a daycare center.
Your child deserves to interact with a facility who values their personal development, emphasizes health and safety, and cares about their wellbeing. It’s important to do your research when searching for a daycare center.
At The Learning Experience, we understand the importance of finding a great daycare provider for your child. We have hundreds of daycare centers across the country which help children learn and grow through our programs.
If you’re looking for a daycare facility near you, you can find a TLE center here.