One of our last articles was on 8 steps in choosing the right childcare facility. Because we got so much great feedback on it we wanted to extend a few more tips that can help make choosing a childcare center a lot simpler! According to the Census Burea in 1999 more than ⅕ of children were cared for in a daycare center. Many parents utilize daycare facilities not only for childcare purposes but also to give their children the opportunity to interact with other kids their age. They are also immersed in an educational environment and can participate in many age developmental activities.
That being said, everyone within a daycare from the administrators to their state departments that approve licensing & make sure health codes are adhered to are all a part of making the entire daycare experience as a whole. And while many parents value the services of their childcare facility it is also no secret that finding quality daycare facility can be quite a hard task. So what can you do to help find the right daycare center for you and your family?
Be Picky With Recommendations-
Although you don’t want to become a daycare snob it is important that you really listen not only to the recommendation but the person giving you it as well. You might think that many of your friends or family members are great parents but that doesn’t mean they are looking for the same structure or requirements from their daycare facility. Try instead to go off those friends that align with your values, organizational requirements, etc.
Structure & Organization-
Knowing that your child is involved in age developmental and age-appropriate learning activities as well as having a schedule to follow is pretty important. Look for lesson plans posted or centers that have a monthly/frequent parent newsletter or parent committees. While tons of details are not that important, being able to visually see what your child’s day looks like gives you peace of mind because children thrive off of structure.
Credentials…Are They That Important?
Hear me out… Yes, credentials can be important when determining the best childcare facility and learning environment for your child but don’t get caught up in a bunch of big words and jargon. Does the facility give you straight answers to your questions? Do they seem warm and inviting? You want your child to excel but you also want them to feel welcome, comfortable, and like going there.
Go With Your Gut ALWAYS-
It doesn’t matter how great the facility looks on paper, how many of your friends or colleagues rave about it. In the end, you need to go with your gut! How do you feel walking into the center? Will you feel comfortable leaving your child there daily and do you get a good feeling about the place, the caregivers, and the environment? Trust yourself to make the best decision for your child as you know them best!