Are you looking to enroll your child in daycare for professional reasons or to help them develop their social skills? Irrespective of your reasons to need daycare services, deciding to take your child to daycare is a huge milestone that comes with a lot of worries.
Picking a daycare center takes emotional and logistic effort due to the anxiety of leaving your little one under the care of someone else, especially if it's your first child. Therefore, it's important to choose a suitable facility. Here are the key factors to consider during your daycare research process.
You need to be sure you're leaving your child in safe hands. Therefore, the first factor to consider should be accreditation. Is the daycare accredited by the relevant state authority, such as NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children)?
Accredited daycares meet high standards and have a good ratio of care providers to babies. Accreditation encompasses staff qualification, center evaluation, health review, safety standards, and family cooperation. Thus, an accredited institution is well certified to handle your baby with utmost care and safety.
2. Day Care Environment
Always go to a center at a safe location for young children. The environment should be warm and welcoming, with adequate playground space.
Find out whether there are any security procedures in place and if the buildings are safe for children. Always schedule a tour of the facility and evaluate the environment — the first impression is always essential.
Different daycare centers offer different activities in which the children can engage. Some put more emphasis on classroom activities, while others invest more in outdoor activities and field trips.
Depending on your child's age, you can determine activities that suit them. You should also choose an activity that is in line with your parenting style. If available, you can check the daycare's planned activities and curriculum to determine if they're age-appropriate.
4. Does the Center Have a Primary Caregiver or Key Teacher?
If you're taking your toddler or infant to daycare, you need to understand who will care for your child. The first relationship with a toddler or infant is crucial as they'll use this interaction to learn how to respond.
Infants need to first form a relationship with one adult before letting others in. An accredited daycare understands the need for individual care moments for an infant as part of their learning process. Therefore, enroll your toddler in a center with a key teacher for a smoother transition and a better relationship with the child.
Always consider the four factors above before enrolling your child in daycare. Remember to check the accreditation of the center and whether their activities are appropriate for your child.