Choosing the right child care facility for your child is not an easy task because there are plenty of factors you have to take into consideration to guarantee your child receives good care. As you select the right program for your child, you need to set your priorities and start there. Having said that, here are the things you should be looking for:
A good reputation
Ask yourself, “Does the daycare have a welcoming, friendly atmosphere?” You may ask the center to provide you with contacts of parents whose children have received care from the facility. You can call them or stop by during pickup and ask pertinent questions. If you have a good first impression, then there is a very good chance that it is a good program. If other parents aren’t exactly raving about it, or are saying things to the effect that they are considering relocating their kids, then that is a red flag. Moreover, if the child care administrators are hesitant to provide you with contacts of parents, that should be cause for concern.
The staff is friendly and qualified
During your visit to the child care facility, pay close attention to the way the staff interacts with children. Unlike in higher learning institutions where instructors provide detailed instructions, child care caregivers should be on the floor playing with the kids, wiping their faces, holding them on their laps, and all those things young children need to feel loved and cared for. That is why it is important that the caregivers are interactive and loving.
Ask if there is stability
Some centers experience unhealthy staff turnover because they are unable to attract and retain great employees, yet children need predictable and consistent quality care. You should ask for a commitment of at least one year from the people who are going to take care of your child. Find out how long the staff has been working at the center.
Do they have ground rules?
Every serious child care center must operate within a given set of rules and regulations. Find out whether the center has a policy regarding bullying, molestations, visitations or sickness. What about food and nutrition policy? What snacks, drinks and foods are provided? Is the television on always or available sparingly?
Do they allow unexpected visits?
One of the best ways to know whether the child care facility has skeletons to hide is to find out if they allow unannounced visits any day of the week and anytime of the day. Of course they must also have a policy that prevents unauthorized persons from accessing the facilities.
Trust your gut
Sometimes you just have to trust your gut to make the right decision.
Having said that, it is important to keep your options open. You are not obliged to stick with one child care program in Albany once you have chosen one. If you feel that your child could get a better deal elsewhere, do not hesitate to try other places as well. Nothing should come between a good quality child care for your children.
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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.