No matter what type of a day care centre you choose you will need to carefully consider some key elements, you should create a checklist and carry out extensive research on child care centres to help you effectively weigh up your options. There are a number of ways to find a professionally run facility where you will be happy to leave your child while you go to work or run errands. The following five tips are useful ways in which to size up your options.
When you visit your preferred facilities, make sure to closely monitor how staff members interact with the children under their supervision, ideally, a caregiver should be engaged in play and conversation while sitting on the floor. Young children need to feel loved and cared for, and staff members should create an environment which enables kids to feel comfortable and at ease in their surroundings. Caregivers have to be kind and receptive to young kids and give them as much attention as possible.
- Staff Turnover
Speak to management about their rate of staff turnover, and also ask caregivers how long they have worked at a particular company, the answer to these questions will help you understand a lot about the day care centre you have just visited. Children need time to create positive bonds so a low rate of staff turnovers is important when choosing a facility, if the turnover is high they will not have enough time to form secure attachments.
- Discuss Procedures
Your own philosophy as a parent should be similar to the day care centres, if you have completely different views on parenting, then it is best to look around for another centre. You can discuss the company’s policies on areas such as discipline, nap periods, feeding times, and other important aspects of your child’s daily routine, the more questions you ask at the beginning the less likely you are to be shocked later on.
- Covert Observations
When a company knows parents are watching or visiting, they will be on their best behaviour and try to portray an image of perfection which may be false. A mother could visit her local day care in Nottingham without contacting the centre to let them know she will be arriving, turning up unannounced can reveal things that come as a real surprise to a parent, it is best to visit the centre at different times to check whether the company is run professionally when no one is watching.
It is important as a parent to trust your gut instinct, if you visit a day care centre which has gotten rave reviews, but you feel like something is not right about the place, move on and continue your search elsewhere. Sometimes your gut feelings is helping you make the right decision for your child, so do not be afraid to trust it.
It is vital to choose a child care centre which provides an effective learning environment, some of the suggestions above can be helpful when looking for a high quality day care facility.