Selecting the right day care center for your child should be a well-thought out process. It will take thorough research and investigation, so you can find the day care centers that are exceptional and weed out the ones that are bad. It’s also important to find a facility that will help your child grow, develop their own set of skills, and they can have fun.
There are numerous advantages to placing your child in day care. An excellent facility will have a variety of activities that will help your child learn different skills. Instead of your child playing all day, a day care center will involve them in creative projects, singing, dancing and storytelling. It’s also a great way for your child to socialize, and they will learn how to interact with others. Your child may be exposed to more germs from other children, and you may have to incur an expense if you pick your child up late, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
To help you find the right day care center for you and your child, the following are some tips to guide you through this process.
Make a List
You can start the process by making a list of all the expectations that you have in a day care center. Do you want a center that is close to home or work? Do you prefer small groups? Think about the goals for you and your child, and what is most important. If you work full time, your child will be spending a substantial amount of time there, so you want to feel comfortable with your decision.
Ask for Referrals
Ask your family, friends, co-workers and referral agencies for any recommendations on a reputable day care center. Another option is to look on the Internet, and in the phone book for suggestions. Word of mouth is an excellent way to choose a facility. If other parents are happy with the way their child is being taken care of, and their child is benefiting from the facility, it’s definitely worth looking into.
Do Your Own Research
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time for you to thoroughly research the day care centers that are of interest to you. Call them on the phone and ask them questions. Make notes on each of the facilities and any thoughts or concerns that you may have. Inquire about their fees, policies, activities, hours, teachers and their philosophies on learning. You may also want to ask about the teacher to child ratio too. Cross off any centers that left you feeling negative, and you should move on toward the ones that were encouraging.
To narrow your search even further, you can begin to check references. Call the parents of the children that actually attend the day care center and ask them questions. You can ask their opinion of the center, and the impact it has made on their child. Also ask if they would recommend it to other parents. If their child no longer attends that facility, make sure you ask them why. You can also check out other references on the Internet. You should verify that the facility is licensed, and they have all the appropriate state accreditations.
Visit the Day Care Center
When you have chosen a day care center that you feel may meet your needs, you can take your child there for a visit. Observe how the teachers interact with your child and get a feel for the environment. Is it clean and orderly? Do the other children look happy? How do they handle crying or unhappy children? Does your child seem happy there? If you get a bad feeling about a day care center, you should trust your instincts and move on. When you have found the perfect day care center, you are ready to enroll your child. If there is a waiting list to get into the facility, you can put your name down and wait until they have an opening.
JoEllen Krauss, much like others moms, juggles a slew of roles and responsibilities. Between managing the house, taking care of the kids and writing freelance for Providian Medical she takes time to talk to other moms to share tips and tricks to lighten the load. In this guest post she discusses ways on how to select the best day care for your kids.