You have checked out the websites. You have talked to your friends and coworkers. But now you have to make the decision. Which daycare is going to be the best choice for your child? Early Years Academy has the answers.
Choosing the best daycare facility can be a tough decision. If you are torn between a few daycares you like, but are struggling to make a choice, there are some key factors to look for, as you make your decision.
Key Factors to Look AT When Choosing a Daycare Facility
1. Be sure they are licensed and accredited.
This is especially important if you want your child in a learning center and not just somewhere to play all day. Licensing is a must for any daycare as it ensures that they meet all the state safety and health standards. If you are looking for a place where your children will be prepared for school, then you want a facility that is also accredited.
2. What is the ratio of children to workers?
A lower children-to-teacher ratio the better. If you are curious about the recommend child to teacher/daycare worker ratio, check ChildCare.gov.
3. Great reviews are a must!
While talking to those you know is important, it is vital that you read reviews online (and not just the ones on the daycare facility’s website). Check out sites like Care.com, join a local parent’s group on Facebook, or even look the daycare up on the BBB. Note any consistencies in comments from other parents. Reach out to any who leave reviews that concern you.
4. What days are they closed?
Many daycares have a set calendar they follow for openings and closings- especially in regard to major holidays. Some daycares follow the local school calendar. Be sure you know what days they will be closed in advance so you can make plans accordingly.
5. Check out the curriculum.
There is a myriad of curriculums to choose from. Consider spending some time in the classrooms listening to a teaching session so you can have an idea of how teaching is done.
6. What about naps?
Does the daycare have set policy on naptime? Infants will sleep several times a day while toddlers will sleep less. But all infants and children need time to rest. Find out what the expectations are for naptime.
7. Safety first.
Look at the play areas. Are they kept clean? What do the workers do to ensure sanitation? Are the outside toys in good shape? All of these factors contribute healthy and safe playtime. While checking on the toys and playground, be sure to ask about outside playtime. After all, spending time outside has been shown to promote happier children.
8. What is the daycare’s policy on vaccinations?
The daycare cannot state their children are vaccinated because it violates privacy law. However, it is common for daycares to require vaccinating. There are some daycares with a less stringent policy, so be sure to check expectations.
9. Sick days.
Being around coughing, stomach bugs, etc. are part of life. But you need to do your part to minimize the spreading of sickness. Find out what the policy is. You will also want to know their procedure for dispensing OTC meds or prescription meds.
10. Are meals or snacks provided?
This varies greatly by daycare center. Some only provide main meals and not snacks, some provide all foods, others provide nothing. Those that provide meals are like to cost more, but it does save you time. Also, if the daycare does provide food, be sure it is something that works with your family’s dietary preferences.
Determining a daycare location, can be difficult and stressful. Don’t be afraid to talk to those who have been where you are. Visit the Early Years Academy Childcare location nearest you to see what we have to offer. We have many years of experience and are happy to talk to you.