If a parent works 40 hours a week, your child will be in daycare 45 to 50 hours a week. Depending on your commute and the errands you run along the way, your child could be in daycare 60 hours a week. That’s a majority of their waking time during the week, and it means that the quality of care they receive has a major impact on their quality of life. But how do you know which childcare facility is right for your child? Let’s learn how to select a quality daycare center.
1. Do Your Research
Ask for recommendations from parents, whether they’re your neighbors, your coworkers or your friends. They’re going to have advice on who to use, but just as importantly, they’ll be able to tell you which caregivers to avoid. You can even ask your pediatrician for recommendations.
Once you have a list of prospective childcare centers, do an online search. Read the reviews about each facility. Spend as much time on the negative reviews as the positive ones. Do they overcharge parents? Have they failed to protect children from hazards or ignored allergy warnings? If someone had to hire a daycare injury lawyer because of neglect or abuse, don’t even bother visiting the facility, because you won’t want your child to go there.
2. Visit the Facility
We recommended online research first, because it allows you to strike the worst offenders off your list. Now you have a list of potential options. Don’t make a decision based on their brochures or the pictures on their website. Visit the facility. How clean are the rooms? How does the staff interact with the children? Are the children happy to be there or eager to leave?
Try to visit more than once, so that you can see the staffers and the children outside of a carefully scripted tour. You may find that the real day-to-day life at the facility is very different from what it looks like when everyone is on their best behavior.
3. Ask Questions
Ask a lot of questions, since you’re going to be here nearly every day. How much does it cost? What is their schedule? Is there a waiting list? If their schedule doesn’t fit yours, if they can’t enroll your child when you’re ready to return to work, or it costs too much, there’s no point in interviewing the staff. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you see. After all, you’re paying them to take care of your children.
4. Interview Staff
It doesn’t matter that the head of the center has ten certifications or spent ten years offering Montessori care. The truth is that the administrative head of the center will rarely see your child. The teachers are the ones that will see your child all day, every day. Interview the staff at the childcare center and talk to everyone who will work in the room where your child will be.
While you’re there, talk to the parents you meet. What do they think of the facility? What are the pros and the cons? Have they had issues getting teachers or the administration to listen to their concerns? What are they really paying? How would they describe their child’s interactions with the other children? If anything, that concerns you comes up, ask more questions or strike that daycare off your list.
Article Submitted By Community Writer