You hunted high and low, near and far to find the perfect daycare for your child. You’re pretty sure you did a good job and overall are pleased with your pick, but every now and then a gnawing pang of worry pops into your stomach. How can you be sure you made the right choice? Here are a few signs that tell you that you found the best daycare possible:
1. The staff calls both you and your child by your names when you arrive. And they remember to ask things like, “How was the camping trip this weekend?”
2. Your good friend, family member or trusted coworker highly recommended the place.
3. There are lots of staff member and the worker to child ratio is very high, allowing for more one-on-one attention.
4. They have one of those annoying lists of rules that prohibit things like peanuts. Although often long and sometimes irritating, those rules mean that the daycare really cares about your child’s health and safety.
5. You checked with the state and they meet all of the health and safety codes.
6. They remind you when you’re running low on diapers or let you know when your child didn’t finish eating. Communication is priceless.
7. The daycare doesn’t offer unwanted advice too often. While you want to stay in the loop and know what’s going on, you probably don’t want someone telling you how to parent.
8. Parents of the other children seem friendly and you’ve either already organized play dates or are planning to soon.
9. The daycare has a low turnover rate. That’s how you know the staff loves what they do and care about their work.
10. Your child comes back from daycare excited. Don’t worry if he or she is hesitant to go in the morning; that’s perfectly normal. But if they come home bubbly and thrilled to tell you about all the cool stuff they did, you know you’ve got a winner on your hands.
-“8 Tips for Choosing Child Care.” Parents.com
-“What Makes a Great Daycare.” Parents.com
-“Daycare Dilemmas.” Parents.com
-Photo courtesy of photo stock/freedigitalphotos.net
Choosing a daycare can be both overwhelming and scary. Whether you’re considering a care facility that a friend swears by or flipping through the yellow pages, it’s important to be well informed and highly involved with your selection process. When shopping for a new daycare, here are some of the most beneficial questions to ask:
Is the daycare licensed?
While most states do require childcare providers to fulfill licensing and background checks, not all do. Make sure that, whether the facility is located in a personal home or its own building, the caretaker is properly certified to watch your child. Do they have CPR training? How often must they pass inspections? Before committing to a daycare, contact your state’s childcare licensing resource to make sure it’s certified. Many states even have online tools that allow parents to search for certifications.
How long has the company been in business and how long have each of the caregivers been with the company?
Lower turnover rates generally mean a happy, expert-filled environment.
What is the adult to child ratio?
You want your child to be getting as much one-on-one time as possible. Not only does specialized attention keep your little one busy and engaged, but more adults means more safety. Here is the recommended adult to child ratios, based on children’s ages:
How big is the group size and what are the ages of the other children?
Generally, the smaller the group, the better because it means more attention for each child. After age two, it’s also important for your little one to be around other children his or her age. Because toddlers start socializing around this age, it’s valuable to set them in an environment where they’ll be around other tots at a similar level.
Do you get a good feeling from the center and staff?
Go with you gut. Visit the daycare in person so that you can meet the workers, see what the space looks like and check out the kind of activities the other children are participating in. If the facility looks good on paper and passes all of the questions above, but you still don’t feel completely comfortable committing, it’s probably not a good fit. Keep comparing your options.
Attention Texas Parents:
We now have licensed child care centers in Texas on MomTrusted.com!
Now find child care in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Garland, and ALL locations in Texas on MomTrusted.com now!