How to Choose the Right Childcare Center
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
A guest post by Anica Oaks
Leaving your child and going to work is one of the most difficult things that a parent must do. There are always horror stories of daycare centers and home care providers that don’t treat the children how they should. There are ways you can make sure that your child is in good hands by doing a bit of homework.
Ask Tons of Questions
Even if you are being a bit annoying, be sure to ask plenty of questions to the person in charge. Find out what their backup plan is when people call off work and request the child-to-adult ratio they use. It is not being nosy when your child is concerned. Be sure to ask them about the daily routine and what type of things they will be teaching. A daycare center that puts a child in front of a television set all day long is not good for the child’s development.
What Kind of Workers Do They Have?
All workers should be drug tested and have a background check performed before they can be around children. Make sure that the daycare center has this policy in force. Do they hire educated people or just anyone who is 18 years of age? Some centers, like Youthland Academy, only hire the best of the best to work with the children entrusted to their care. If the center doesn’t have a great group of employees, look elsewhere.
Don’t Make the Decision Based on Money
The old saying “you get what you pay for” certainly applies here. If you only care about the financial aspects of the center, you will miss the big picture. Sure, you need to be able to afford the daycare center’s rates, but you also would pay an extra $10 or $20 a week if it meant your child was safe from harm. While money is important, safety and good quality employees are even better.
Tour the Facility: Give the White Glove Test
Before making a decision on a daycare center, tour the facilities. Ask to see even the simple things like the diaper changing area. Look for safety violations and issues that might cause problems with the child’s safety. Don’t ever feel bad to question the health and safety of your child. Look at the restrooms, lunchroom, and the napping center. Make sure the toys are not broken and play areas are divided by age.
You want to make the right decision regarding a daycare center. While most of the centers are really good, there are still those certain few that make a bad name for everyone else. For the sake of your child, an investigation is warranted.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.