For parents, finding the best child care or day care facility can be extremely stressful and sometimes a bit overwhelming. Entrusting the care of their child to another person is a huge step for any parent. Before choosing a provider, moms and dads need to consider several factors, ask specific questions and research each facility in depth to ensure a positive yet safe environment for their child.
When making the initial visit to the facility, parents should look down, look around and take in the surroundings. Paying attention to the interaction between the staff and the children is important in understanding the potential environment. Caregivers should be hands on with the kids, whether it be on the floor playing games or holding babies for some individual attention. A warm, loving, attentive environment is ideal.
Infants and children need consistent, secure care. Routines help them feel safe, loved and protected. For this reason, a commitment is important when it comes to child care. Parents should ask providers about their turnover rate, how long their staff members have been there and how often they change staff assignments. This will help determine if a child will have the ability to develop a comfortable relationship with a caregiver.
The specific policies that a facility follows are extremely important as well. Parents and the provider should be on the same page when it comes to daily habits and activities. What are the disciplinary policies? Do they use physical methods like spanking or a hands off approach such as a time out? Do they allow television viewing and is there a limit on time? What is the routine for snacks and meals? These things should align with the beliefs of the parents in order to prevent any future problems or confusion for the child.
Another significant factor is the open door policy. Facilities should allow parents to stop in at any time and be involved with activities when possible. The ability to drop by can help a mom or dad step in unexpected and catch a regular day of activities. It may reveal things that are going on that were covered up during the initial, planned visit. Parents should also be able to interact with their child when they can. For example, they could stop by and read a book aloud to the class or accompany the kids on field trips.
Legally, there are certain things that can be researched about a particular care provider. Individuals can find the licensing requirements in their area and then make sure the center they are researching meets those guidelines. They can also find information about violations and review previous complaints. All of these pieces can raise red flags if there have been issues in the past.
There are never too many questions to ask when searching for the best facility to provide care for a child. Features like outdoor play areas, structured schedules and flexible drop off and pick up times are things that are important to consider. Word of mouth referrals from friends and family are also great ways to get leads on quality facilities. However, parents should infinitely trust their instincts. If a visit to the provider produces negative or uneasy feelings, it will not be the perfect place for a child. A happy and positive atmosphere is the first step to making a confident decision for child care.
Check out Creative World School Rivercrest, http://www.creativeworldschool.com/preschool-riverview-boyette, for more information on daycare facilities for your child.