Choosing a daycare for your child is a big decision. There is a lot to consider so that you and your child are comfortable and confident that they are in the best place.
Before you decide on a specific daycare, thoroughly explore your options. Set up an appointment to visit a few in person if at all possible. Ask questions about how the daycare is run and what systems they have in place for safety and day-to-day operations. A good daycare will have something like this set up to make sure everything is secure, and you can be confident that your child is well cared for.
One of the most important features that you will want to look for is safety. Are the doors of the building locked at all times? How do parents gain entry? If there is an outdoor play area, is it fenced in? All of these questions should be addressed, so you know your child is protected.
You will want to choose a facility that is in a convenient location, preferably on the way to your work. The last thing you will want to do each morning drives for 30 minutes out of your way to drop off your kids.
Another thing you can ask is if your chosen daycare offers any check-in options. Some have cameras in certain playrooms where parents can log in and see how their child is doing.
Does the daycare you are considering have good communication? Ask how they will tell you about your child’s day. Do they provide a brief write-up of everything that happened or take a few minutes to discuss it with you? After being away from your child all day, you must be informed of their progress and any issues to address.
While you want the best for your kids, you need to choose an affordable option. Daycare can be expensive so go over the pricing and plans available in advance. Do you have to pay for a minimum of days even if you don’t use them? Are certain ages more or less expensive?
Activities and Engagement
Find out what activities they have for the kids. Maybe they offer some preschool classes. Perhaps they are big on creativity and have an excellent art and craft room. Or, they could have an indoor play centre for some physical activity. Try to find one that offers things that your child will enjoy.
Hours of Operation
Your daycare will need to offer hours that suit your schedule. If you start work early in the morning or don’t get home until late, you may need to come up with some alternative arrangements or find a facility with extended hours.
Before you decide on a daycare, you need to know what kind of philosophy they operate by. How do they discipline the children? What are their priorities? Always know this in advance so you can choose a daycare that matches up with your personal beliefs around how children should be raised.
Find out who is on staff at any daycare that you are considering. Ask about their qualifications. Do they have a degree in early childhood education or experience with children? Most daycares will have everyone meet minimum requirements such as passing a background check and being certified in first aid or CPR.
When you take the time to research a facility and get to know the staff, you will feel more at ease in knowing your child is safe and happy. This will make the transition for everyone much more relaxed and stress-free.