You are a parent in need of a quality daycare for your child. You want what is best for the family but don’t quite know how to begin this search. Here are 6 steps you should follow in your quest for the perfect child care solution.
Ask Friends and/or Relatives With Young Children
This is your best source of information as they will have honest, first-hand knowledge of the best childcare facilities. They can give you the pros and cons of each, and provide you with insight as to exactly what to look for and where.
Choose a Specific Type of Daycare
You may also wish to narrow down your choice of a facility by deciding on a specific type. Do you want to enroll your child in a large commercial facility with many extras or at a licensed home daycare that provides care to smaller groups? Church child care centers may also be a viable option in your community.
Your budget may also be a determining factor. Tuition varies widely between different facilities, and this may be one question you may want answered first before you begin narrowing down your choices. Remember, the least expensive may not be the best choice. In fact, 1 in 4 preschools fail to meet quality standards. Choose a facility with reasonable costs and adequate staff.
Consider Location and Hours of Operation
These two factors are also high on your priority list. You will want a facility that is either close to your home or your place of work. The hours must also be compatible with your needs. For example, if you choose a daycare close to home but don’t get off work until six and your daycare closes at six, it is obvious that you will need to select another option.
After you have narrowed down your choices, always ask for parental references. Call these individuals and ask pertinent questions about attentiveness, safety, equipment, and meals. Objective parents who have used or are using these services can be an excellent source of information, insight and guidance.
Put Safety First
At each site, ask about the locations of first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and automated external defibrillator (AED) machines. Check the playground equipment to be sure that it has no sharp edges or other safety concerns. Inquire as to medical skills and certifications of the staff. Evacuation procedures should also be readily available, so parents know where to find their offspring in the case of a fire or other emergency. Study shows that child abuse at daycare are fairly rare so you don’t have to worry too much about that.
Finding the right child care is not a challenge to take lightly. You will want to know that your youngster will be safe, happy, and very well cared for. Following the above suggestions will have you well on your way to having the best in daycare options.