If you’re in need of someone you can trust to watch your children while you’re at work, you may likely feel overwhelmed and nervous. After all, these are your precious cherubs and you must leave them in the care of a virtual stranger! Well, don’t fret. There are ways to find a great child care provider in your area provided you just put in a little research.
Whether you’re looking for a simple day care for your baby or toddler or you want more of an educational center for your older child, follow these tips for choosing a trustworthy provider.
When visiting a potential site, pay close attention to how the staff members interact with the children. Look down. Are the staff members on the floor playing with the kids? Or are they sitting behind a desk or standing up chatting with other employees? You should see staff members doing puzzles with kids, cradling babies, engaging kids in imaginative play, and more. Babies, especially, need nurturing, interactive relationships with adults so they can thrive.
Ask About Experience
Babies require consistent, predictable care, helping them form secure attachments to their caregivers. Toddlers need help with their motor skills and imaginative play, and preschoolers require tasks that prepare them for kindergarten. Ask how many years of experience the child care provider has, and ensure they have worked specifically within your child’s developmental range. If looking at a day care center, ask the director what the turnover rate is for the staff.
Ask About Policies
It’s important to make sure you are on board with the policies put forth by the center. For instance, how do they feel about discipline, such as through time-outs or scoldings? What snacks are they allowed to have? Are naps offered? What is the sick-child policy? What is the inclement weather policy? Asking these questions now will ensure there are no surprises later.
Take a Tour
Drop by and ask for a tour. A day care center may sound great on paper but you really have to see how everyone is in action. Make sure it’s clean, childproofed, and well stocked with newer books and toys that are all age appropriate. Are developmental play areas kept separate? Are toys with small parts kept well away from younger babies? If you can, swing by the same center at different times of the day to get an overall sense of how the staff interacts during play time, snack time, nap time, etc.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Sometimes you just have a gut feeling about a provider. If the provider in question has no problem chatting with you, freely exchanging ideas and encouraging feedback, this is a good thing. Communicating comfortably with each other is very important. You want to know that when you drop your little one off in the morning, you can talk for a few moments about how your child’s night went, what they had for breakfast, when they last napped, or whether they may be coming down with a cold. You also want to know you can call the center any time during the day and be met with a receptive staff member who has no problem telling you how your child’s day is going.
If you’re ready to start exploring day care options in your area, check out Wall Directory now. We have links to all the best places nearby!