There are all types of child care options out there, from daycare centers to in-home child care. Whichever type of child care you choose, it’s important to know what to look for. After all, you’re talking about the health, care and well-being of your child, and there’s nothing more important than that.
Pay Attention to Staff Interaction
When visiting a daycare provider, pay attention to the way the staff members interact with the parents as well as the children. Do they greet parents and kids when they come in? Do they get down on the floor to play with kids? Are they happy to pick up children who want to be held? Your child’s caregiver should be warm, welcoming and responsive.
Discuss Your Policies
It’s important to find a care provider who has the same policies you do. For example, how does the caregiver discipline children of different ages? Are the kids allowed to watch TV or movies for part of the day? What types of snacks and beverages are given to kids during snack time? You want to make sure that your child has some sort of routine that’s relatively the same whether they’re at home or at daycare.
Set a Schedule
Routines are extremely important for children and it’s necessary to find a daycare provider who can offer the same, predictable care timetable from week to week. When children are able to get used to a routine, they’re more likely to trust their caregiver. If you’re hiring a nanny, ask them if they’ll sign a one-year contract. If you’re seeking out a daycare, find out about their employee turnover rate.
Drop By Unexpectedly
It’s easy for caregivers to prepare for a scheduled meeting, but you’ll get a truer sense of how the program runs when they don’t know a parent is coming. Every once in a while, drop in early to pickup your little one. You’ll get a real sense of how clean the space is kept, how attentive the caregivers are and how happy your child is to be there. Quality caregivers won’t be annoyed that you drop by unannounced, so it’s also important to pay attention to how they react when you show up.
You and your child’s caregiver are bound to have problems now and then. It’s important to openly and honestly discuss issues as they arise. Problems that are left ignored can grow into bigger issues and misunderstandings. You should both be open to hearing the other person’s side of the issue and to understanding the other’s opinion. Remember that the goal is cooperation between you and your child’s caregiver for the sake of your child. If you would like to learn more, the Wee Watch Licensed Home Child Care website is a helpful source for information.