Finding qualified, experienced and reliable daycare providers for your children can take a lot of patience and hard work, but more importantly, it requires that you, the parent, know which questions to ask and what to look for when visiting daycare facilities. Your child’s wellbeing is too important to make a decision on which daycare provider to choose without the proper information. Here are a few tips to help you in your decision. Please do not hesitate to contact Stepping Stone, if you would like more information.
How can I tell if a daycare provider I am interested in is good or bad?
A good daycare provider should care about your child’s development as much as his or her safety and comfort while in their care. There are important components to consider establishing the daycare provider’s commitment to the children they look after:
- Whether or not the provider has an age-appropriate teaching curriculum
- Children to daycare provider ratio
- Frequency and quality of reports / communication with parents
- Health, nutrition and safety
What questions should I ask when visiting daycare providers?
You should always visit daycare providers armed with a list of questions. Here are the most important things you should know:
- Whether or not the daycare center’s staff has first aid and child CPR certifications
- What learning activities and games are on the schedule (i.e. what your child will be doing all day)
- How the daycare providers handle matters of discipline and conflict resolution
- Whether or not the daycare center welcomes unexpected visits and observation
- How the daycare providers handle your child’s special needs (allergies, fears, physical limitations etc.)
How can I make sure that the answers to my questions are true?
Unless you stay with your child at the daycare every day, there is no way to be absolutely sure that the daycare provider you have chosen does everything they say they will. There is however a few things you can do, that will go a long way towards convincing you that they have answered your questions truthfully:
- Ask to observe daycare activities. Again, legitimate daycare centers will be more than happy to let you observe their daily routines, and will welcome your unexpected visits at any time of the day.
When you have made your choice and enrolled your child, it is important to monitor his or her reaction closely to ensure that he or she is both comfortable with the center and daycare providers, and as a way to confirm that you have made the right choice. Ask your child questions about his or her day, and be aware of mood changes or a change in behavior.