Sometimes one of the most difficult decisions as a mom is to have to send your child to daycare. Another decision is which childcare center should you choose?
Childcare is one of the most support systems families require. Choosing the best childcare facility will be a win for you and your family.
Here are 10 suggested areas you should be looking into as you choose a child care center:
1). Licensed/Accredited Facility. It’s especially important that the childcare center is licensed/accredited. In order for a business to be licensed, one of the processes is that the facility is inspected and monitored by the state in which it is located.
They have guidelines that every department and every staff should follow. They are in areas such as sanitation, teacher knowledge, and education, meal preparation, and serving, caring for the children, etc.
Here is more general information about how to gain a childcare license. Of course, each state has specific policies and procedures. There are those who may not know that “home” daycare centers can earn a license also.
However, in some states, it isn’t a requirement to operate to care for children.
2). CPR Certified Staff. One of the main missions of the childcare center should be safety. It is perfectly fine for you to ask if and how many of the staff are CPR/BLS certified.
You want those who are caring for and working with your child to be readily qualified and certified. They should be prepared to assist your child or the staff if anyone should need medical attention.
3). Sanitation Score. The state you’re in makes sure that the location is clean and sanitized from nutritional meals, its prep/storage to how staff cleans the classrooms, bathrooms, etc.
There are also sanitation routines that staff must follow when changing children whether pampers or just changing their clothes.
4). Lesson Plans. Within licensed facilities, teachers are creating lesson plans for all students. Those plans should include an activity for every main play and academic areas (ex.) math, reading, science, etc.
5). Teacher to Student Ratio. You should look for and ask about the student-to-teacher ratio. This also includes infants. For safety and state policy that ratio must be adhered to. It allows the students to have enough adults in their room per group of students.
6). Outside Space. Ask to see their outside space. You’re looking for soft ground material whether it is a mat that covers the whole area or wood chips. Check the height of the apparatus. You can even compare it to state guidelines with a little research.
7). Naptime. One of the best times of the day for the children (coming from a former childcare associate). The kids need their rest time after a busy morning. The students are on go mode throughout the first half of the day.
They are playing and learning in their “centers”, socializing with their peers, and enjoying the outside space. Once they are cleaned up and have had their lunch, nap time is next.
Feel free to see where your child would potentially sleep and the cot they would use. Ask how it would be cleaned and stored. Are the students taught to assist with returning nap items?
What is the routine for preparing for their nap? How are they woken up? Such an important time of day, which is definitely why you should ask all the questions.
Finding a great daycare can be the difference between the best life with childcare and the worst.
To ensure the best transition for your child and family, be confident and knowledgeable about what appropriate learning and the growing atmosphere are for your child. Trust your instincts! Enjoy seeing your child(ren) flourish!
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