Know what to look for when choosing a day care center
Choosing the best day care for your children can be difficult. Your children are your most precious possessions and you work hard to give them the best of everything. Day care shouldn’t be any different. Confused about how to choose a day care center? Follow these tips.
Tip #1 — Check out the staff
The most important aspect of choosing a day care involves the caregivers and staff. Ask questions about training, if any, the staff receives. Ask about spontaneous drug tests and police background checks before hiring for positions around your children.
Visit the class where your child stays. Notice how the teacher interacts with the children. Is the teacher interested in the children and friendly? Do the children seem to like the teacher? Is the class organized and on a set schedule or do the children run the class?
Tip #2 — Check out the atmosphere
Does the atmosphere make you want your child to spend hours there? The day care center you want your child in should have an atmosphere of fun. The staff should be happy and appear to work well together. Notice if the staff enjoys being around the children or they appear to be bored and irritated.
Watch the children. Are the children having a good time and enjoying themselves? Listen for laughter and excitement. Is the day care provider helpful to the children or would she prefer not to be bothered?
Inspect the playground. Notice the equipment look for safety. Check new equipment for good and well-cared for condition. Check for a variety of play items and ask where the children play on bad-weather days.
Tip #3 — Check out the educational program
You want your child to feel loved and to have fun, but you also want your child to learn while at the day care. Ask about the educational program planned for your child’s group. Does the day care teacher plan lessons at least on a quarterly basis? Are there sufficient educational materials, supplies, and toys?
Ask what educational goals get set for your child’s age group and how they are accomplished. Notice and ask how much time the children spend watching movies.
Tip #4 — Check for cleanliness
When you check the center, keep an eye out for general cleanliness. Are the walls fingerprint free and the floors clean? Is the trash piled up or taken out regularly? Does the facility have fresh paint and bright colors that children love?
When you go outside to check the playground area, notice the landscaping and parking lot areas. Does the day care have adequate landscaping that indicates the owner cares about the business? Is there trash outside the building or does the parking lot have a neat appearance?
Does the staff clean toys on a regular basis? Check the bathrooms and the kitchen. These rooms should meet state standards for cleanliness. And just as importantly, they need to meet your own standards.
Tip #5 — Check for love
Ideally, your child’s day care exists as his home away from home. Be sure the day care you choose nurtures your child. The staff should openly show they care about the children and are interested in their development. Are boo-boos kissed? Are noses wiped? Are dirty diapers changed quickly?
One thing you do not want to overlook is the center’s guidelines for discipline. Be sure the center has some type of discipline planned to keep order while still in line with how you discipline your child.
Before you visit a center, review these tips or use them to make yourself a checklist. Good day cares welcome your questions and are not be offended. Do your best when choosing the best day care for your children.