Sending your little one to daycare is a huge parenting milestone. With all the factors to consider, choosing the right center can be overwhelming and challenging for any parent. The fact that you will be leaving your child under the care of other people is more than enough to make you feel anxious. But don’t worry. High-quality child care centers provide a safe, engaging and friendly environment for young children. If you want to make sure you’re making the best choice, here are some important points to consider when choosing a daycare.
Program and curriculum
No matter how young your little one may be, it’s never too early to begin age-appropriate learning. When looking for day care, take time to learn each center’s program and curriculum. Find out what lessons are being taught and if these lessons are age-appropriate. Ask what their goals are for teaching and if the programs are tailored according to a child’s age and developmental stage. You’ll also want to make sure that there is ample time for play because play is essential to young children’s holistic growth. Also ask how you can get updates on your child’s developmental progress.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a daycare is the school environment. Pick a childcare center with a warm and welcoming environment. Make sure that the location is also safe for young children. Find out if the school has safety and security procedures to protect their students. Are the buildings, classrooms, playground and outdoor areas safe for kids? Are there any safety hazards you should be worried about? Take time to take a look at these things when you’re at the facility you’re checking out.
Facilities and materials
A high-quality childcare center has a friendly and warm environment conducive to learning. Be sure to pick a daycare with clean and sanitary buildings and classrooms. Check their toys and learning materials to make sure they are safe and child-friendly. Are the materials age-appropriate? Are the pieces of equipment in good working condition? By taking the time to check these things, it will be a lot easier to select a learning environment that can bring out the best in your child.
Teacher and student interaction
The teachers and staff in the daycare should also be assessed during your visit. Be sure to learn more about the teachers’ educational background and experience when it comes to working with kids. Find out if they have been trained and certified in first aid, CPR and infection control. Also don’t forget to pay attention to how the staff and teachers interact with their students. Observe if they have an engaging interaction and if the children responds well to their teacher. Also notice their actions, body language and the words they use in communicating with kids.
Day to day activities
The daily activities and routine can vary greatly between daycare centers. Some invest more time in structured classroom activities while others put more emphasis on outdoor trips and activities. Consider your child’s needs and behavior to determine the daycare program that suits them best. Also consider how it compliments your parenting style.
Another way to find out if a child care center is an excellent choice is by speaking to other parents. Ask other parents, or even your family and friends for their personal recommendation. Ask them what they think of a particular daycare and if there are other options they can recommend. It is also a good idea to do an online research and visit the daycare’s website. Read parent reviews and pay close attention to any red flags.
Never ignore your gut instinct when choosing a daycare. First impressions are important. When you feel like something is not right, then something probably isn’t. How did you feel about the day care centers you visited? Did you feel welcomed? Does it seem like a happy and friendly place? Does your child like the place? How did they react during the visit?
Picking the right daycare may not be easy. But this guide can come in handy to help you choose the best daycare for your child.