Things You Should Know Before Choosing a Childcare Center

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Choosing a childcare facility to trust with your child all day is a very difficult decision that shouldn’t be rushed into. Aside from the obvious of it being hard to be apart from your precious child all day, parents must feel comfortable with leaving their child at the facilities. As a parent, there are certain things you must be aware of before you enroll your child into any childcare facility.

You should take the time to look into each childcare center in your area, making sure to focus on these elements to ensure your child is safe and to feel completely confident about your decision. Make a list of places that friends and family have recommended as well as those that come highly regarded in your area. Then go visit each of them in person. As you visit each childcare center, take note of the following.

Ratio of children to staff

When you’re choosing a childcare center to care for your child, you should make sure they keep the correct ratio of staff to children. It varies by age but with infants, there should be no more than 3 babies per caregiver. For 2-year-old, there should be no more than 4 per caregiver, and for 3-year-old, one caregiver can manage 7 children.

Proper staff training, licensing and inspections

One thing that should stand out to you is how the director treats you during your visit. Do they answer all your questions to your satisfaction? Are they pleasant and encouraging of discussion? If you feel at all unwelcome, walk away. They should be delighted to tell you about their staff and be able to back up every employee with credentials. The staff at the childcare center you choose must be trained in early-childhood education or child development. Make sure you meet the caregiver you would be trusting to care for your child. Just like the director, if you get any bad vibes, keep looking. And even if the place is nice, if it’s not licensed and hasn’t passed inspections, it’s imperative you find another place for your child.

Written policy on illnesses

Kids get sick so it’s important to know what the childcare center will do when that happens to your child. A good childcare center will have this policy detailed and ready to show you so you can feel confident that should your child fall ill while there, they will handle your child properly until you can get there to take them home.

TV time policy

If the childcare center you’re considering shows an excessive amount of TV to the children, you might want to think twice. While some learning programs or special movie days with age-appropriate viewing is fine, you certainly don’t want to be paying gobs of money to a place that only uses TV to engage your child.

Safe areas

Make sure you look closely as you tour the facility. There should be outlet covers over every outlet. Furniture with sharp edges should have foam guards on it to prevent bumps and cuts. The toys should be in good condition, and the playground should be properly maintained to ensure it safe, both in regards to the equipment as well as the enclosure to keep children from getting out. Make sure you’re comfortable with the childcare center in regards for how your child will learn, play, and rest.

In case of emergency

One of the most important things you should look for when choosing a childcare center for your child is that it has working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. The director should be able to show you what the emergency plans are should they need to evacuate the building. The childcare facility should also protect against other alarming emergency situations, including someone that might try to bring harm to the children. Look for places that have automatic locks with codes only staff can access. This way, you can be sure that no random people can get in with the children.

Once you find childcare facilities that fall in line with this list of things to look for, the next step will be bringing your child. You might like the childcare center and find it safe and harmonious with what you’re looking for, however your child needs to be comfortable there too. Bring him along to the places that you liked and see which one he takes to the best. Have him meet the person that would care for him and let him see the classroom, playground, and every other area he’ll encounter there. The right childcare center for your child will be the one that meets your requirements and makes him happy too.

Remember, there is absolutely nothing more important than your child’s well-being. That’s why checking out childcare centers first is the most imperative step in choosing a childcare center for your child. Even if you choose a place that passes all the things you check out with flying colors, if your child comes home and behaves differently, be aware that something may be going on. Don’t be afraid to look into it and if you discover something isn’t quite right, move your child at once.

Not to worry though. When you examine these factors before choosing a childcare center for your child, you are much less likely to encounter a problem. By knowing what to look for, you can drop your child off with absolute confidence and minimize those nagging worries that every mom has when she is apart from her little ones.


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  1. Kyle Winters says

    It really is important to find out the childcare center’s policy on sick children as soon as you can. After all, you want your child to be in good hands while you are on your way to pick them up. The article makes a very good point about making sure that the policy is written down somewhere so that concerned parents can see it easily.

  2. Tiffany Locke says

    Your advice to take the time to research every childcare center in your area to make sure it focuses on the right elements is a good idea. You’d probably be able to do this by checking out online reviews and their official website as well as asking friends and family if they use one. Once you’ve done this, you’d probably want to visit the best childcare centers in person so you can talk to their staff and check out the facility in order to learn more about their services and see if it’s a good fit for your kids.

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