Putting a child in daycare for a full time working parent is usually the most common option. However choosing the right daycare for you and your child may not always be an easy task.
The quality of the daycare is very important and should be examined thoroughly before making a choice.
Here are some valuable tips and information for choosing a quality daycare center.
- What are the qualifications of the staff working directly with your child. E.g.: A level 3 staff (highest level) has their Early Childhood Development Diploma.
- Are all the first aid certifications of the staff members up to date.
- What is the staff/child ratio in the room for your child’s age group.
Under 13 months + 1 staff for every 3 children 13 – 18 months + 1 staff for every 4 children 19 – 35 months + 1 staff for every 6 children 3 years to under 4-1/2 years + 1 staff for every 8 children 4-1/2 years and over + 1 staff for every 10 children
- Ask to see the licensing report. All daycare centers must post their licensing reports in the center for parents to view.
- What is the centers policy on discipline and child guidance
- Make a point to look around the center. Note the staff/child interactions.
- The toileting facilities for the children are child size and sanitary.
- Health and safety issues.
- Is outside space available and safely contained for gross motor play.
- Children’s artwork displayed.
- Activities are age appropriate and children are exposed to a variety of developmental experiences.
- Overall feel of the center and environment.
- Are nutritious snacks/lunches provided.
- Are medicines/Cleaning supplies stored in locked cupboards.
Knowing that your child is in a safe and nurturing environment helps make spending a whole day at work much more comforting and much less stressful.