Make a careful choice in a child day care facility before signing up!
Most families with young children need to have their children looked after in a child day care center. If your employer offers child day care facilities at your workplace, you're lucky! Employers who offer day care are probably the most stringent in making sure that the best of care is provided. However, if you don't have that option, you'll need to throughly check out any day care provider before entrusting your children to a provider's care. While most are trustworthy, an ounce of caution and some research on your part is always time well spent.
All child day care facilities, whether in private homes or community centers, must be licensed by the state in which they operate. In order to become licensed, the state will run a background check and require that the provider be tested for drugs. Plenty of other paperwork must also be submitted, so the license does afford you a certain degree of assurance that the provider passes muster on those basic qualifications. When you interview a potential provider, ask to see their license. If that provider hesitates or seems reluctant, you're best advised to move on to the next candidate on your list. You should also follow up and verify the name and location of the child day care provider with your state.
If you have neighbors or co-workers who send their young children to a certain day care facility, query them on their experience. You can find some good leads this way. You'll still want to do your own research, so that you feel completely confident in making your choice of who is looking after your child.
Here are specific steps to ascertain the quality of any day care facility.
1.Make an appointment to visit the facility during hours when children are there. Spend some time, paying attention to the children's behavior and responses to the day care provider. There's usually a mix of age groups, ranging from infants and pre-schoolers to older kids who might spend a few hours after school before being picked up after work hours.
2.Take note of the general cleanliness of the child day care home or community center. Ideally, it should be clean as a whistle. While kids can make a mess, a dirty looking home is not what you want.
3.Inquire and observe what sorts of activities are provided to keep the children occupied. Does the day care provider have a story hour? Lots of safe toys? Supervised play? When younger children eat lunch, do the tables and chairs have rounded corners, with no sharp edges? Don't be shy about making a thorough inspection. Your child's safety and well being are at stake.
4.Another important concern is knowing how many kids attend each day. The fewer the number, the better the care and supervision is likely to be.
5.If the child day care candidate passes this inspection, all that remains is to ask for references from other parents whose kids attend the facility. You might also want to ask for a couple of references from parents who no longer attend because they're now in school. Any reputable day care provider will not hesitate to furnish you with this information.
If you're asked to sign a child day care contract, read it word for word. Be sure you understand their policy on terms of payment and their hours of operation. Once your child is enrolled, continue to monitor your child's behavior and ask them if they enjoy being there and like the person caring for them. Now you may have found the perfect day care person for your precious kids!