5 Tips for Finding Daycare
Trying to find childcare for your kids is one of the most difficult things. The prices are so high and the crazy stories in the media has left a bad taste in our mouth regarding daycare. So, how to choose a daycare center? Whether you are working or just need a break, you should have the peace of mind that your kids are being well taken care of. Here are a few things that a good daycare or learning center for children will have.
Drop By Policies
If a daycare has nothing to hide then they will have no problem with the parents coming by to see what’s going on, whenever they want. You shouldn’t have to schedule a drop in when you want to see how your child is doing. Some parents are very connected to their children and can’t be away from them for too long and may have to see them at some point during the day, every day. This should not be discouraged. A daycare worker may explain that it’s actually harder for the child to see you half way through the day, you should still be allowed to peek through the door or window and check on them, as long as they don’t see you. And if you insist on letting your child to see you also, the daycare should understand and allow you to do that.
Kids thrive on boundaries and schedules. There should be set times where the children eat, play, learn and nap. There should be designated outdoor time, provided the weather is suitable as well as structured eating times, reading times, etc. The children should be cycled through the centers throughout the schedule in order to make the day easier on the workers and help them to remain patient as well as to keep the children engaged and progressing. The workers won’t be able to recognize weaknesses or potential issues if the children are just free playing all day long with no structure.
The kids shouldn’t be allowed to just play outside all day or sit in front of a movie all day. There should be opportunity for learning play where they can use games to teach the children about colors, letters and shapes. Setting up centers is a great way to allow each child to have a time for free play but also areas where they can stimulate their brains and hand eye coordination when they want to. The activities should also be cycled through. The kids will get bored if they sit through the same games, same movies and same lessons every single day. Having a weekly or monthly rotation of toys and games and movies will help them to enjoy fresh material often.
Hands On Staff
Child care centers should have staff that are willing to get down on the floor and play with the children. There’s nothing worse than dropping your kids off somewhere and then them having to fend for themselves while their daycare workers or babysitters just sit on their phones or watch a movie. If you are afraid that this is what’s happening, drop by unannounced and see how the staff are interacting with the kids.
Your children are your most prized possession. Having someone else take care of them takes an immense about of trust and faith in a person. The daycare workers should recognize this and be honest with you. If your child ends up with a scratch on his face, the worker should honestly tell you what happened. They should also tell you if your child is misbehaving, having trouble keeping up or if there are any other issues. This will make you more at ease, knowing that they are paying attention.
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done about the prices, but if you can have the confidence that your child is having fun and being taken care of as well as you could do at home, the money that you have to pay will be worth it. You don’t want to settle for cheaper prices if the above five things are not in place. It’s important to have the balance between not spending your life savings on daycare but also realizing that you get what you pay for.