Finding the right childcare facility is a difficult task. It is overwhelming for parents to try and locate a facility where their children will be safe and well cared for at an affordable price. No matter the age of the child, it is critical that you find childcare where your children are safe and comfortable. Here are some things that you can look for when checking out a childcare facility.
Before you sign your child up for childcare, you want to drive by the location. The best time to visit is in the evening hours. Think about the way you would examine the property if you were looking to purchase it. This is the same lens you want to use now. Make sure that your car is parked somewhere that childcare staff won’t pay attention to it. This is so that you can get the full picture. Walk around the area and listen to the sounds. Listen to the neighborhood. Look at the conditions of the neighborhood. The area surrounding the daycare will give you a good idea of the daycare itself.
What are You Looking For?
If you are looking for a facility or looking at a home based childcare provider there are some things that you want to look for. When looking at an at-home provider, pay attention to the driveway. If the driveway is crowded, it could indicate that there are many individuals that your child is going to be exposed to.
You also want to find out exactly how many individuals live in the home. No matter what you are looking at, pay attention to the conditions of the facility. Pay attention to your gut reaction after your first impression. If you feel uncomfortable with the area or the neighborhood, you should maybe reconsider.
If the provider is in a sketchy neighborhood, find out what extra safety provisions are in place. In general, it is important to find out how the provider safeguards your child while your child is in their care. Make a list of everything that is important to you.
You also want to decide what type of curriculum you are looking for. Do you want somewhere that works on skills and development with your child or do you want a babysitter? Do you want structure or would you rather your child has more free time during the day to play? You need to know what type of curriculum that you are looking for and discuss this with the staff. A good provider is not going to lie to you.
They will be upfront and honest about what they do and do not provide. It may be a good idea to put items on your least from most important to least important. Finding a childcare provider that can meet everything on your list is going to be unlikely. It is important that the most important things on your list, at least, are met. Put the things you are not willing to compromise on at the top.
Finally, pay attention to the atmosphere when checking out a place. Look at the interactions between the staff and the children. Are the staff hands on? Are they assisting the children when it is needed? Are they paying attention? Are they warm and nurturing toward the children? How are they interacting with you? Do you feel confident that they are being honest? Is this a place that you feel comfortable leaving your child every day? The most important thing you can do is trust your gut instinct.