Choosing a day care can be difficult because it concerns the welfare of your child. Leaving your child to the care of a stranger while you are at work takes strength, and that's why you need to choose the best daycare option for your child. Childcare can be a nurturing environment for your child allowing you them to grow and learn through playing. Consider the following tips when choosing a family day care centre:
1. Type of day care
There are two types of daycare options for children including day care centres and home day care. Day care centres are usually part of a school institution to care for children of a certain age. They are preferable since your child can learn how to interact with other children. Home day care happens in your home and a nanny, babysitter or a licensed professional cares for your child.
When most parents start their search for a daycare centre, location, cost and convenience are their priorities. You should also talk to other parents and your pediatrician and ask for their recommendations. You can use the internet to look for licensed day cares in your area and childcare referrals. Using the internet, you can only acquire general information about the centre, and hence you need to ask in-depth questions during a site visit. A few questions to ask include the caregiver to child ratio, emergency measures, approach to early education and nutritional value of menus and the outline of their daily program.
3. Visit the centre
It is mandatory to visit a daycare centre before choosing it. By visiting it, you get a sense of the atmosphere and see how the caregivers interact with the children present. The presence of warm caregivers is a good sign as it helps children thrive in a supportive environment. Try to gauge if the other children look happy in the environment. In addition, inspect the centre to see if your child will find any toys exciting to play with.
4. Gut feeling
During your site visit, if you feel that anything about the day care centre is off, you should look for warning signs. These warning signs may include detached caregivers, unresponsive children and a lack of structure and guidance. You should trust your gut feeling when making the final choice. Even if the staff seems great and the centre is affordable if your gut tells you no then listen to it.