Leaving your pride and joy with someone else all day – every day is a difficult decision for any parent. But sometimes, there’s just no other way due to work and other responsibilities. If you are living the daily 9-to-5 grind and are looking for a daycare center to take care of your child when you’re not around, then here are some tips that you will find useful.
Getting recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues is a great way to find some of the best daycare centers in town. This ensures you hire a daycare center that is tried and trusted by someone you trust. But if you do not know anybody who has acquired the services of a daycare center, no worries.
Take your search online and type in “daycare centers near me” to find the best options. Search engines usually recommend results that have the most reviews and have been shared socially to ensure value to the searcher, which is, after all, what Google is there for.
You can also find state-licensed daycare centers by visiting the website of NACCRRA (National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies). Once you have chosen a few recommendations, compare their services, experience, and benefits to make sure you (and your child) get the most bang for your buck.
Gauge the Quality of Service
There are a number of factors to consider when comparing the quality of service. Of course, making sure your child is comfortable there is very important, but you need to gather more information on the facility before you entrust your child’s care. Some key indicators that will tell you whether a daycare center is worth it are as follows:
Level of Supervision – The level of supervision a daycare center is able to provide comes down to the teacher-to-child ratio. While some facilities that pride themselves on delivering quality childcare services tend to enroll fewer children, depending on the size of their facility and the number of teachers, others don’t mind getting as many children enrolled in their daycare facility as they can – quality be damned. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that the daycare facility should have one caregiver per four toddlers and per six preschoolers.
Teacher’s Education Level – A caregiver in a daycare center should be calm, creative, and fun to be around to keep little minds engaged, but they also need to be properly educated and trained. Don’t shy away from asking the daycare owner or the teacher themselves about their level of education and their professional training. Also, the best daycare centers usually keep their staff sharp and professional by organizing training programs and professional development workshops.
Does the Facility Provide a Safe and Healthy Environment?
As a parent, it is up to you to decide whether or not a daycare center is up to par with the quality of care you want for your child while you are away. Once you’ve singled out a few options, visit them in person to inspect the facility up close. Also, ask for the facility’s health and safety policies and the procedures that are in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your child.