Choosing a daycare is a very important job for parents. The sad truth is that children in daycare often spend more time with their daycare providers than they do with their parents. Therefore, it is extremely important to select a daycare provider that is trustworthy, kind and reliable.
It is a good idea to spend a day visiting several potential daycares. Take the child or children that will be spending time in the daycare with you. It is just as important that your children feel comfortable with the daycare as you do.
The following are the areas of the daycare that you should evaluate.
Watch how the employees interact with their charges. You want to make sure that they are kind and respectful to all of the children in the daycare. Make sure they spend equal amounts of time and energy on all of the children. You also want to ensure that enough staff members are present to take care of all of the children well.
The employees are the most important area to evaluate. Next in importance is the building or buildings in which your children will be spending their days. Make sure that all areas of the building are well-lit. Also, make sure that the paint scheme and décor are warm and inviting. Bright, primary colors are best for children. Look to see if all areas of the building seem safe for children. Especially make sure that there are no dangerous chemicals or medicines within the grasp of curious kids. Ensure that there are nap spaces available.
Children can become easily bored. It is important to make sure that they are adequately stimulated during their time in daycare. Ask the director what kind of activities the children will be engaging in over the course of the day. There should be a good mix of intellectual, creative and physical stimulation. It is a good idea to avoid daycares that have a television. Time spent in arts and crafts, story time and playground activities are much more beneficial to a child’s development than spending time in front of a television.
ODDS AND ENDS
Ask the director about the rules of the daycare. Ask how they are enforced. Make sure that the rules seem fair and that they are clearly explained to the children.
WATCH YOUR CHILD
While it is important that you feel comfortable during the daycare visit, you also want to watch your child closely during the visit. Make sure that they seem comfortable both with the staff and the other children. If your child seems not to like the daycare, then it is a good idea to look at other daycares no matter how much you personally may like it.