Education and Development For Preschool Children

5 Tips When Choosing A Child Care Center

If you're looking for a child care center for your kid, there is a lot of legwork involved. You want to find the perfect place for your precious child. Check out these five tips that can help you find the right center for you and your child.

Talk to Friends and Experts

One of the best things you can do when finding a good daycare is ask around. Start by talking with friends and family who have children in daycare. If you don't know anyone with children, you can still ask family and friends if they know of someone. Another option is to contact the Child Care Aware hotline. They can direct you to local places where you can get a list of qualified day care centers. If you find any that are approved by major child care associations, such as National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Plan a Surprise Visit

Another absolute must is to plan a surprise visit to the child care center. While there, you can get an idea of how clean and safe the area is. However, most importantly, you can use this to see how the staff interacts with the children. Firstly, they should actually be interacting with the children, not just ignoring them and letting them play on their own. Secondly, watch how they treat the children. Of course, they'll treat your child great when you are there, so don't bother watching how they treat your kid. Keep an eye on how they treat the kids whose parents aren't there. That will give you a clear image of how they will treat your child once you're gone.

Ask About Their Level of Commitment

Being a caregiver for a child can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful. You want a child care center that is filled with people who are committed to the wellbeing of children. Talk to the staff to find out about their level of commitment. It takes time for children to form bonds with people, and you want them to form a bond with their day care provider, so they are happy when they are there. If a child care center has a lot of turnover or no one has been working there long, it may not be the best option. Your child will get used to someone just to have them leave.

Find out About Policies

A major question you must ask is what policies they have. You want to find a child care center that has your same parenting policies. For example, if you don't particularly like your child to watch TV, ask about television policies. If the daycare typically leaves the TV on all day for children to watch as they please, it may not be the best choice for you. With so many kids, the staff may not be able to properly monitor your child's TV intake. Make sure you ask about all polices, including food, punishment, sleeping, etc.

Focus on Good Communication

Your child is going to spend a lot of their day with the day care staff, so you want to ensure you can communicate well with them. This is especially important before your child can talk, because you must rely on the day care provider to tell you how your child is doing. If you find that you have a hard time communicating with a child care center provider, it might be best to look elsewhere. When it comes to the wellbeing of your child, you want someone who is on the same page as you.

Finding the right child care center for your child is an absolute must. Make sure they mesh well with your own child raising policies. For more information, start contacting child care centers in your area today.