A New Parent’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Daycare
Congratulations on being a parent. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. There are so many ‘firsts’ that you must deal with.
One of those includes finding a daycare center. You are not alone in facing such a big decision; in the U.S., it seems almost half of the parents are in some form of full-time employment.
In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the important factors you should consider when making a decision about who will look after your child. By the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll feel more confident about how to find a good daycare center.
Start With Certification
When it comes to researching a daycare center you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Thankfully, a lot of work has already been done by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. You can search their register to see who is accredited and the standards that they adhere to.
Try to read as much information as you can on their website, as this will help you get a feel for what is expected for centers of education and care. Through membership and various communication channels, you can connect with other stakeholders in the industry and further your understanding.
Another excellent resource comes from the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies or NACCRA. They produce a checklist called ‘Is this the right place for my child?’ Within the checklist are questions you can ask which point to an underlying standard that will help in finding a good daycare center.
For example, the checklist asks about the caregiver-to-child ratios and suggests there should be at least 1 caregiver for every 3 or 4 infants. It also asks questions we may not have thought about, such as whether the caregivers are trained in CPR.
Whether you use a formal pre-prepared checklist or just make your own checklist, you should keep in mind the following principles. You will want to make sure that the caregivers and educators are properly trained and educated to look after the children in this age group. Likely, the daycare center has a website, so this is a good place to check the qualifications of staff.
It’s also important to consider the values that the daycare center promotes. How does this match with your own values? You should, of course, visit the center in person.
This will help you get an impression of how clean and safe the center is. You can also check the learning resources and see if there is a proper focus on education, growth, and development.
Finding a Daycare You Trust
In this article, you’ve read about finding a daycare center that will provide what you and your child needs. It’s a big decision, but one you can make with confidence if you follow the principles in this article and check out the additional resources recommended.
Right now, it may seem a daunting task, but the important thing is to do what you can and do your homework first before making a decision. As you gather more information, you’ll see that there are many places that have the trust of others and will have your trust also.
Check out other informative articles that match your interests on our site.
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