At some point, you will need to return to work and leave your baby at a childcare center. Entrusting your child in the care of a stranger is one of the hardest decisions you can make as a parent. If you are making this critical decision, you have to evaluate every aspect of the facility and the caregivers. This article provides essential tips on what to evaluate when selecting a childcare center.
Evaluate the Facility and Setting
The starting point for the evaluation should be the childcare facility. Establish whether the facility has an operating license to provide daycare services. Check if the facility location is convenient, including the commute time from the childcare center to your home or workplace. Then, evaluate the facility's safety measures, such as controlled entry, surveillance systems, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and covered outlets. What is the sanitary condition? Is the facility clean and well-maintained? Notably, assess the available indoors and outdoors space for children learning and leisure activities.
Evaluate the Care Providers
Make sure to analyze the suitability of the staff at the childcare center. In this case, inquire about the qualifications and experience in child care. Go a step further and establish the screening process for all workers at the facility. Are there medical and criminal background checks before employment? Ask about the staff-student ratio to assess whether your child will get personalized care. Notably, take your time to visit the daycare center and observe the caregivers in action. Do they appear friendly, helpful, and patient with the children? Are they cheerful, warm and affectionate? Also be sure to evaluate your interactions with the staff to see if they seem reliable, professional and open in their communication.
Evaluate the Program
Since the kid spends a considerable time at the childcare center, find out the routine program. Start by finding out the operation hours and days for the daycare. Ask yourself if the timelines are ideal with your schedule. Then, assess the typical indoors and outdoors activities for the children at the facility. Is there a balance between learning, playing and resting? Significantly, are there adequate learning and playing resources? Do not forget to find out about meal and sleeping times as they affect your baby's developmental growth.
Evaluate the Philosophy and Policies
An ideal childcare center should have philosophies and policies that align with parents' needs and parenting styles. Therefore, establish the education philosophy and religious beliefs to see if they are compatible with your perspectives. Find out if the daycare has a disciplining policy for the children. Also, check if there is a drop-in policy for the parents, including an emergency management procedure. Other important policies include toilet training and meals preparation and handling.
Evaluating daycare helps you confirm that the setting, caregivers, program and policies work best for you and your child. However, remember that the evaluation is ongoing and should continue long after settling for a childcare center.
For more information, contact a daycare center in your area.Share