With the many, many options that are available in every city for childcare, it can be very difficult and overwhelming to pick a childcare facility. Whether you choose a formal child-care center, family day care, or in-home care there are some basic things you should know and insist upon. Here are few basic things to keep in mind while assessing if a child-care facility is right for your little one.
Check the Policy:
Every child-care facility follows a different philosophy when it comes to parenting children. It is important that the facility you choose agrees with your philosophies about certain issues. The more questions you ask early on, the less likely you are to be unpleasantly surprised later. Here below:
Do the caregivers use time-outs or scoldings?
How much TV time do children view if any at all?
Is your child on a strict diet? Can the facility accommodate that?
When are naps offered? How are fussy babies put to sleep?
What symptoms prevent a child from attending?
Pull Up and Pop In
While it is also important to do your research and ask other parents for referrals, nothing can replace taking a look at a place for yourself to assess whether it meets your needs or not. You should look for the environment to be clean, child proof, and full of age appropriate items such as toys, books, and decorations. Ideally the older children and infants should have separate spaces for safety purposes. Once a facility stands out more than another you should visit that location, unannounced, at different times of the day, giving you a sense of what the routine is like and how the staff interacts with the children.
Assess the line of Communication
Until your baby is talking, your sole way of knowing what is going on will be relying on what your caregivers tell you about their day. When assessing a facility be sure to note how willing they are to communicate with you. Are they willing to answer all your questions or are they rushing you along? Does it seem like they are too busy to talk? Chances are this will not change should you enroll your child in their facility.
While you want as much consistency as possible for your baby that doesn’t mean you can’t alter your arrangements. If you pick a facility and things are just not working out the way you want them to, there is no shame in making a switch.