Choosing childcare services to entrust your child to is daunting — you want to know they’re in good hands. So, how do you find a daycare facility that you feel comfortable with?
In part one of this series, we began the conversation of daycare by examining the different types of daycares and how they can benefit your child.
If you live in the DC area, you know the difficulty of finding affordable daycare close to work. At Community Education Research Group, you can choose the leading daycare center and a specific facility that is closest to you. Learn more about our Antioch, Minnesota Avenue, and Good Hope Road locations.
What to Look For in a Quality Daycare Provider
For most parents it may be a feeling — call it intuition — of a daycare center that is right for your child, but if you want to look into the details a little more closely, consider a few of these factors to check off your list.
Do the legwork
A daycare center is where you’ll be sending your child for a majority of the day, so it’s important to do a little research and legwork to better know the trusted sites in your area. Begin by asking other parents where they’re sending their kids or what they’d recommend. If you don’t know other parents, your pediatrician is a great resource.
Interview prospective daycares.
Once you’ve gathered a list of daycares, narrow down the search by interviewing the providers. Most places are happy to have a phone conversation and answer any questions about the facility, the teachers, or the curriculum. Any daycare facility who isn’t forthcoming or can’t answer questions, check them off your list!
Visit local daycares
You’ve done some research and you’ve narrowed down some prospective daycares with interviews, now you can visit the facilities left in person. Make an appointment and get a tour of the daycare center. You can tell a lot from the facility by a tour. Look for the following things:
- A safe environment
- Child-to-staff ratio
- How the staff interacts with the kids
- How the facility is set up
- Healthy food
- A reputable curriculum
Check up on their certifications
A quality daycare center will be current in all of their required licenses and certifications. Ask about their state licenses and certifications such as first-aid.
Plan an unannounced visit
To really get a good idea of the facility you’re considering, drop by unannounced. In this, you can get a clear picture of what’s truly happening because no one has been prepped.
We alluded to trusting your intuition earlier, but truly, go by your gut. You know your child better than anyone and if the facility feels off or just isn’t your favorite, keep looking!
Choosing a daycare facility can be daunting — allow yourself enough time to search out the one that best fits your needs and go through the above tactics to slowly cross off the ones that don’t work.