You may be a first time parent looking for a care service for your child or you are changing daycare for some reason or the other. Sometimes parents are so busy they forget to ask pertinent questions when they are checking out childcare programs. Some parents may not want to be considered nosy for asking a lot of questions. Of such they miss important details that later affect their relationship with the child provider. Here are some very important things to consider when seeking out childcare programs.
What are the Business Hours?
You’ll want to know if your work schedule fits into the provider’s business hours. Therefore, determine their policy if you have to pick up late.
What Costs are Involved?
While the cost of daycare will be routinely given to you, you need to know what these involve. What if you have to pick up later than regular hours? Find out if these costs include outings and parties such as holiday times. Is there additional cost for special needs?
Is there a Safety and Security Policy?
This will help you determine how well your child will be cared for. For example, how does the provider respond in the event a child falls ill? Your questions will answer also the procedure for preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in small babies. You will also want to know that their safety policy includes ensuring that children are vaccinated against major diseases. Determine also if there is a plan for evacuation in the event of a fire or other major disaster.
Are the Staff Qualified?
You’ll feel more confident with childcare programs that have professionals to take care of your child. Children in childcare programs are at the most crucial stage of development. Staff should be qualified in carrying out activities that will enhance their growth and development. Additionally, you will feel more comfortable if the staff are trained in CPR and first aid treatment. Find out which staff will be responsible for your child. Determine if you will be able to have short discussions with them to get a report on how your child is doing.
What is the Staff and Children Ratio?
Depending on how you desire to see your child taken care of, this question will address concerns in how well he or she will be supervised. The greater the number of children to one staff, the less amount of individual attention will take place. Ideally, it should be a 1:5 ratio for children one to three years. Younger than this is 1:4. Three to four year olds should be 1:7 and older children is a ratio of 1:15.
What’s the Daily Schedule or Curriculum?
Even at baby stage, a childcare program will have a schedule of activities for their day. Included in the schedule should be time for play, development, and sleep. Find out when is nap time. How does the program cater to children’s development and growth? Are there activities such as reading aloud to children, playing with numbers, writing and other tasks?
Is the Childcare Provider Licensed?
Licensing is an indication that the caregiver has the necessary resources to take care of your child in a safe and caring way. Although being licensed does not necessarily guarantee quality care, it will indicate that the provider is taking his business seriously. At least there is the indication that they are maintaining certain standards.
What is the Play Area Like? Check out where your child will play. Is it free from hazards or is it possible for a child to get hurt easily there?
When can you Visit? A visitation policy should tell you when you can or may not visit the daycare. Of course nap times may be included and you will know definitely that this time is out in wanting to see your child. However, visiting should not be so stringent that you cannot visit any at all. Room should be made for you to turn up and be able to see your child in action.
Finding the best care service in the Albany area for your child means knowing what you want and getting all the answers to make the best decision.
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.