Many parents are choosing to enroll their children in day care. With the number of benefits this kind of care provides, it’s not anymore a surprise. A day care is a great platform for your children to improve their behavior, boost their communication skills, and encourage them to mingle with peers. Sending children to day care also has social and economic benefits to parents.
Putting your children in day care is a great investment that can supplement their development, but with the number of day care options today, do you know what to choose? Are you aware of the factors to consider when choosing one?
For you to end up sending your children to reliable day cares, such as Lolo’s Childcare, look for the following things when choosing:
1. Positive Reviews
With the number of day cares operating today, it’s very easy for parents or guardians to feel overwhelmed with the myriad of options in front of them. This is especially true if you’re putting your children in day care for the first time.
Checking for positive reviews is one of the easiest and most effective ways of narrowing down your options. Reviews of clients can help you determine if the day care you’re eyeing to choose is something that will meet your expectations or fit your children’s learning needs. These reviews will also save you from paying day cares that are incompetent or operating as scams.
When looking for reviews, take note of the following tips:
- You can start learning more about a day care by personally talking to their representative and asking for names and numbers of parents who worked with them in the past. Ideally, a reputable day care will be happy to provide you with references. If they’re confident of their services, they won’t have anything to worry about when you reach out to other parents.
However, if the representatives from the day care can’t give you any references, be wary. This is a tell-tale sign that the day care doesn’t have any satisfied clients (yet), or they’re trying to hide something.
- Online platforms can also become your best friend when looking for reviews. You can start by checking the website of the day care and check for reviews left by previous clients, or you go through different social media platforms. The more online resources you check, the easier it’ll be for you to have an idea of how a particular day care provides services.
- When looking at reviews, pay attention to any patterns, both good and bad. Regardless of the number of years the day care has been operating in the area, don’t expect that they’ll always gain positive reviews from all of their clients. However, if you’ve noticed that a lot of their clients have raised the same complaint, that’s another story. This can usually mean that the day care lacked competence in some areas and these haven’t been addressed since then.
2. Caring And Stimulating Environment Full Of Happy Kids
When choosing a day care, solely relying on other people’s comments is not enough for you to come up with a sound decision. For you to know more about a particular day care and the quality of services they provide to children, it’s important that you spend time to visit the facility. This is a great opportunity for you to personally see how the caregivers of the day care are treating and training the children.
Ideally, you should visit a day care unannounced. This will enable you to assess how the facility actually operates during normal days.
When visiting a day care, it’s important that you pay attention to the following:
- First impression can speak volumes when visiting day cares. When you’re in one, assess how the environment feels the moment you walk in. Does the space feel vibrant and fun enough for children? Does it have a home-like and welcoming ambiance? Imagine your children being in the day care, and determine if this kind of space is something that they’ll like.
- Moreover, make sure to check if the day care provides an age-appropriate environment for kids. Ideally, the day care you choose should have infant rooms that have spacious floor space for crawlers, as well as rooms with desks and tables for older kids. Children will require different learning environments as they age, and the day care you choose should be able to cater to these unique needs.
- When you visit a day care, don’t forget to observe the children. The quality of services offered by a day care can be seen in the children’s behaviors. Are the children engaged and happy in the day care? Do they feel comfortable around and responsive towards the caregivers? Are they provided with age-appropriate activities and projects? Only put your children in a day care that’s full of happy kids as this can reflect how efficient the facility is.
3. Interesting Curriculum Or Schedule
Parents or guardians expect different things in a day care. While some prefer a school-like environment with a rigid curriculum, others want a loose schedule that’s more child-led. Regardless, it’s essential that you choose a reputable day care that suits your preferences and, of course, your children’s needs..
The following tips can come in handy if you want to know the kind of curriculum and schedule a day care offers:
- Sit down with the representatives from the day care and directly ask them questions about the kind of program they have. If possible, prepare your questions before your visit, so you’ll be able to make the most out of your meeting. Never put your child in a day care unless you fully understand how the facility operates and what kind of programs they can offer to children.
- Regardless of the curriculum or schedule you want your children to be in, look for a day care that allows them to be invested in different materials and styles of learning. A reputable day care will always strive to balance important learning outcomes with the children’s personal interests. Remember, a day care should enable your children to get out of their comfort zones, and it’ll be hard for them to achieve this goal if they aren’t provided with platforms that encourage them to showcase their skills.
- Most importantly, the day care you choose for your children should also encourage parents like you to create partnerships with their caregivers. Learning is a long-term commitment that will require cooperation and time from parents and caregivers. It’ll be very easy for your children to get the best learning experience if the day care functions as a platform for parents and caregivers to work together.
4. Qualified And Compassionate Caregivers
Teaching and looking after children at the same time isn’t an easy feat. As a parent or guardian, you know how challenging it is to keep your children entertained for long periods and teach them new lessons regularly. The younger the child is, the more taxing it’ll be for you to take care of them.
How the caregivers handle children is a vital factor to consider when choosing a day care. Leaving your children in a day care for hours and only to find out later on that the caregiver didn’t properly take care of them is one of the last things you want to happen as a parent. In worse cases, entrusting your children to an inexperienced or untrained caregiver can even become the reason why they’ll be traumatized and lose the motivation to mingle with other people.
Only choose a day care that employs qualified and compassionate caregivers. You can check the level of service offered by these caregivers to the children through the following:
- First, you need to make sure that the caregivers have acquired the necessary training and certification for the job. The caregivers should have degrees relating to childhood development or be in the process of attaining one. It’s also important to check if these caregivers have undergone CPR training and other similar emergency procedures.
- Aside from the training and certification, spend some time to observe the personality of the caregivers when managing children in the day care. Do these caregivers respectfully talk to your children? Do they use ideas and languages that children will easily understand? Do they act as a good role model for children? Make sure to only put your children in a day care that employs caregivers who know how to properly interact with and listen to them.
- Although it’s your children who’ll be interacting with the caregivers for long periods, you should still assess how comfortable you feel around these caregivers. Are they interested to partner with you to educate your children? Are they communicative and clear with their goals? As a parent or guardian, you’ll be working with these caregivers for weeks or months, which is why you should also assess how they deal with you as a client.
There are many day cares operating in different parts of the world today, but choosing one that’s cheap or accessible doesn’t always guarantee the best results. If you want your children to have the best learning experience, you should spend time to scout for options and compare. This is the only way you’ll determine which day care can meet your expectations and provide an effective learning environment for your children.