Identifying the right childcare facility for your young one can seem to be a scary as well as overwhelming task. As a concerned parent, it will be your top priority to make sure that your child is not only safe but happy in an environment that is nurturing, educational as well as fun. Some tips on what to look out for when choosing a childcare facility:
Warm and Responsive Staff
After you have managed to make a shortlist of childcare centers by asking family and friends, you need to visit each of them to establish whether they are fit for your child. When visiting a center, you should look out especially on how the staff is interacting with the children; ideally, you should be able to spot caregivers on the floor playing with the young ones or even cuddling them on their laps. Unless the staff is responsive and caring your child will be unlikely to enjoy the environment. Even older babies should be able to get individual attention and for this, you need to make sure that the staffing ratio is at least one is to three, especially for babies up to 2 years of age.
Commitment to Continuity
One of the key indicators that should tell you a lot about the management of the facility is finding out the average time spent by caregivers in this particular employment, and what sort of employee turnover the center normally witnesses. As you can imagine, children, especially the very young ones, do not like to face new people all the time so it might be helpful if you were to insist on a commitment of at least 12 months; however enforcing this can be quite difficult as you can appreciate.
Check Out Their Policies
Ideally, your baby would be most comfortable in an environment that closely matches that of your home as far as parenting policies go. It makes eminent sense to choose a day care school that shares most of your own parenting philosophies, so you could do well to check out if the caregivers scold the kids, or give them unlimited doses of television, the kind and quality of food and beverages they serve, how they deal with fussy babies, and what rules do they have about admitting sick children.
Check Out the Facilities
While strong referrals may have led you to a particular center, you should definitely try and assess the quality of the care facility and establish that it meets your standards and requirements. Typical parameters would be cleanliness, childproofing, and the stock of age-appropriate toys, games, and books. Find out if the available space is a free for all for kids of all ages or whether the really young ones are kept in a separate area away from the more boisterous older toddlers. Most importantly, is the area large enough to accommodate all the kids with comfort or there is no space for the children to run around? Rather than taking the management’s word about how good they are, it can be a wise policy to drop in unannounced and find out if the kids look happy, and the caregivers are not stressed out.
Conversation Is Important
As a parent, your duty does not end when you drop off your child at the care center. You must share with the caregiver any issues that your child may be having, especially with health and diet, as also the quality of sleep the little one has had the night before. Likewise, when collecting the child at the end of the day, be sure to ask if the child has been okay, had his meals, whether he had his naps, the number of diapers used, and in general if he had been happy. Speaking personally with the caregiver on a regular basis will not only keep you informed of the baby’s progress but also keep the caregivers more alert to the needs of the child.