Finding the right daycare for your child can be daunting. However, there are some things you can do to help you find the very best daycare in your neighborhood.
1. Determine your basic needs
Type of daycare
If you would like the feeling of “being in the home,” and require daycare services for a smaller number of children, in-home daycare may be right for you. In-home daycare is provided in the care provider’s home. It will feel like a home because it is already home.
However, if you prefer a place where your child can socialize, center-based daycare may be a better fit. Center-based daycare usually takes place in a larger, commercial building where care providers supervise a lot of children.
To get daycare that meets your needs, consider whether you would like the daycare to be close to your work, your home, or somewhere in-between. Additionally, if you are looking for a daycare that provides some type of outside play time, consider if you want the facility to be in the city, the suburbs, or outside city limits in a more rural area.
Make sure you know your budget before you invest a lot of time into your search. There is nothing more frustrating than finding a daycare you like then realizing the cost exceeds your budget.
2. Research local daycares
Family and friends
Be sure to ask why a family member or friend recommends a daycare because their reasons may not align with your needs. For example, they may like the daycare because it is located near their home, and this may not be a priority for you. Being aware of your own priorities will help you know how to weigh someone else’s recommendation in your final decision.
Many daycares are accredited. For instance, the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provide searchable databases to find an accredited daycare near you. Additionally, you can learn about the accreditation process and understand why accredited day care centers are much more qualified than non-accredited ones. For instance, accredited daycare facilities require providers to be trained in CPR.
Read online reviews
Visit places such as Yahoo Local, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau to find out what other parents are saying about daycares. Look for any complaints filed against a daycare you are considering.
3. Visit – ask questions
Some basic things to look for when visiting a daycare include the following eight things.
– site cleanliness
– roominess / large play area
– toys in good working order
– age appropriate
– social environment / whether the children are playing together
– mood of the children
– mood of the staff
Make sure to take note of the adult-to-child ratio. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends there be one adult for every three children up to the age of 24 months. Also, take note as to whether the staff is on the floor with the children. It is very important that children experience warm and responsive care as this has a positive impact on their development.
Before visiting, develop a list of questions. Doing so ensures you get the most information possible. Some things you may want to inquire about include
– discipline policies
– feeding times and policies
– screen time
– daily activities
– sleep time
Ask about their policy regarding unscheduled visits. If the daycare requires that you make an appointment to visit, consider another daycare. You should be able to see your child at any time.
Additionally, choosing a daycare most aligned with your parenting style will help to decrease the likelihood of problems, misunderstandings, or just overall dissatisfaction with the daycare.
Additional things to remember
Choosing a daycare that works for you and your child is a very personal choice. Even though some parents may have about a particular daycare if you find it does not work for you–for any reason–that is okay. It is better to forego a daycare than risk problems down the line.
Start the process at least six months in advance. There is a lot to consider, and it takes time to find the best daycare option for your child.
Get on wait lists because eventually, a time slot will open.
Perhaps most importantly, trust yourself. If your gut tells you something is off, listen to it. Even if you cannot say exactly what might be wrong, you know your child and what is best for your child.
If you are looking for a safe, clean, professional, and loving environment for your children then look no further! Little Foot Learning Center is committed to meeting and delivering your childcare/preschool needs! Please contact us via the following page: https://littlefootlc.com/contact.