If you’re able, visit multiple centers that you are considering. It can be helpful to see at varying times to get a sense of their daily routine. Note how many employees are present, and try to find a daycare that follows the NAEYC-recommended child-to-caregiver ratio.
Often, you can find valuable information on the quality of care at a daycare center through online reviews. To see the big picture, balance positive and negative thoughts. Reading through the daycare’s safety policies and procedures is also important. Look for a daycare Julington Creek FL that has kid-proofed environments, follows food safety guidelines, has a manageable caregiver-to-child ratio and has a clear policy on how children are disciplined.
In addition, it’s important to note that a great first impression is everything. When you walk in, does the daycare feel clean and inviting? If so, this could be a sign that the daycare will communicate well with you and your family. They will also take their responsibility – your child’s – seriously.
Ask for References
Parents with a good experience with a daycare center share their satisfaction. Ask for references and contact those parents to ask about their experiences. Also, ask about licensing and accreditations; ensure the daycare has the proper accreditations for your child’s age group. It’s important to find out the facility’s health and safety standards and if it’s accredited by national organizations that ensure quality education and curriculum evaluations.
Ask if the daycare can provide copies of inspections and any violations. Ask about staff qualifications and if they have background checks. Also, ask about discipline policies and how they communicate with parents. You should also be able to visit the daycare unannounced. If the daycare won’t allow you to do so, it’s a red flag.
When touring a daycare center, more is needed to rely on your gut feeling. Ask important questions about staff, education, curriculum, and more. For example, if you don’t agree with the teacher’s discipline methods (time-outs or scoldings), their approach to feeding kids, or how they put fussy babies to sleep, it could be a red flag. It is also good to ask about health requirements, such as requiring a TB test for new caregivers or insisting that all children be up-to-date on their immunizations.
Ask how frequently the staff disinfects high-touch surfaces, including toys, and if they follow recommended masking and social distancing policies during an outbreak like COVID-19. You should also know whether they require children and staff to wash their hands after each diaper change, before and after meals and bottles, and after using the restroom.
Visit the Center
The decision to put your child into daycare is a big one. It’s not easy to entrust your baby to someone else, and you want to find a clean, safe facility that will provide the best care possible for your little one. Look for a low turnover rate of caregivers. Whether you’re looking at group or family day care, check out the ratio of kids to adults and see if it meets your state’s legal guidelines.
Also, ask how the provider communicates with parents during the day. You want to know if you have a problem so it can be addressed immediately. And finally, trust your gut. If a place doesn’t feel right, it won’t fit your child best.
Schedule a Tour
It’s crucial to schedule a tour of the facilities you’re considering before making a final decision. You want to see how the daycare operates and how the staff interacts with children. It’s also a good idea to visit at different times to get a feel for their daily routine.
During your tour, look for seasonal decorations and weatherboards, as child development experts recommend a balance of stability and variation to stimulate children’s minds. You should also check for cleanliness, as this is a basic expectation of any quality daycare program. Ultimately, pick a place that feels right to you and your child! It is a big decision. After all, your child will be spending a lot of time here!