When you’ve made the decision to opt for a certain amount of childcare through the week, it’s critical to find the right childcare centre for your child.
Here are some factors to consider:
Group Size: How many children are there in each childcare group? A big group may give your child a chance to socialize, but it can also mean your child will receive less attention from caregivers. Smaller groups, on the other hand, are much easier for the caregivers to manage, so it’s worth looking into childcare where the groups are small.
Adult to Child Ratio: How many children should each adult caregiver watch over? A good ratio is two or three children per adult. Smaller groups with more adults are preferable, as it means a greater focus is being placed on caring for and watching over your child.
Qualifications: Do the caregivers have degrees in child education? Have they been working with children for years? Are they regularly improving their skills by attending workshops and seminars? The best caregivers are the ones who care about their skills, and who show it by obtaining the proper education.
Accreditation: Always check the accreditation of your caregivers to make sure they have the right documentation.
Turnover: How often do kids come and go? If there is a very high turnover rate in the day care or childcare centre, it may point to the fact that parents aren’t pleased with the service.
The Importance of Visiting the Childcare Centre
Once you’ve found a childcare centre that appears to be good, it’s time to pay the centre a visit. You want to keep an eye out for a few things, including:
Supervision: How attentive are the caregivers to the children?
Cleanliness: Do the children wash their hands regularly? Do the caregivers change diapers, blow noses, and scrub faces regularly? Do they also wash their own hands and sanitize diaper changing areas?
Interaction: You want your child care provider to be patient with the kids, have fun with them, and help them to learn new things during their time at day care.
Environment: Is the day care kept clean and organized? Are all toxic chemicals and cleaning products kept out of the reach of children? Does the day care centre have proper lighting and ventilation?
Emergency Plan: Does the childcare centre have a plan should there be a fire or other emergency? Are they teaching the children important emergency preparedness skills and drills?
Policies: What written policies does the childcare service have? The policies should include child behaviour, health, safety, authority for access and pick-up of children, how staff will interact with your child and educational objectives and how they will be achieved.
Training: Have the staff been trained in first aid for children? Do they know how to deal with injuries both minor and serious allergic reactions, and other emergency situations? Are safe sleeping policies in place to prevent SIDS?
Play Areas: Are the play areas safe? Is there a fence surrounding the play area to ensure your child’s safety? Is the sandbox clean and free of animal litter? Is the equipment the correct size for the kids using it?
All of these things are important to consider, and the only way you’ll be able to do so is by visiting the day care centre and seeing these things for yourself!