Early development is precious. So when it comes to childcare, it’s natural to want the best for your children.
If you are in the process of choosing a daycare facility, take the time to look beyond the brochures and find the one that is a perfect fit for you and your child.
To help you, here are the top 5 factors to consider when choosing child care centers for your young family.
1. Reputation With Parents
One of the best ways to establish the merits of a daycare center is to speak to other parents, past and present. That will give you the real insight you need into experience within the childcare facility.
Ask locally in parenting groups, forums, and start reading online reviews for daycare recommendations, like these insightful comments from parents at happybunnies.com.
When you have a shortlist, find out if you know anyone within your network who has used that daycare and can tell you about their own experience.
Parents will be honest about any problems or issues they have had from childcare providers.
Seek information from parents on how quickly the child settled into the facility. That can provide a good indication of the daycare’s experience.
2. Staff Qualifications and Experience
Do the child care staff have the relevant qualifications and are they up to date? That should be one of the first questions you ask, and the best way to find that out is during a tour of a daycare facility.
There are a few different qualifications that will be of interest. Health and safety, first aid, early learning, and nutrition are four of the most important.
3. Safety Procedures
You want to make sure your child is protected and safe. When touring the facility, look at security procedures.
Double doors, child locks, and procedures for identifying guardians at pick-up time are some safety features you might want to check, as well as adequate salt bins and spreaders, whether hand-held options or motorized, for when the weather gets colder to reduce the risk of slips and falls outside.
Make sure procedures, allergies and medication are thorough and best practice, even if your child doesn’t have an existing allergy.
Ask too about emergency plans in the case of fire, flood, or tornado.
Often when putting together your shortlist of care center options, the facilities that excel also have the best communication plans in place. That might include regular online updates, a dedicated (and secure) website, or even video.
When there is an issue with your child, you’ll want reassurance that they know how to contact you and communicate problems promptly.
Daycare is your child’s first step into the wider world. While it isn’t a formal education setting, it is a unique opportunity to develop a child’s love for learning.
Find out what learning activities the daycare offers to children.
Look for variety. Hands-on activities for a child are also fantastic learning opportunities at that young age. Think about what resources the center has in terms of educational toys, puzzles, and crafts.
And don’t forget about the importance of outdoor play. A safe, natural space in the open is essential at that young age.
Choosing Child Care Centers That Work for Your Entire Family
Whatever priorities you have in choosing child care centers, make sure those priorities work for your entire family and go beyond mere practical considerations.
A happy, secure child who loves their daycare will give you peace of mind and make that separation easier.
If you enjoyed this article, take a moment to check out our latest posts in our family section for some top childcare tips.