7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Choosing A Daycare Center
Finding the right daycare is essential to raising kids but also maintaining your sanity and taking care of all of life’s other demands. Still, it is a complicated decision considering just how many factors go into this, as you have to balance what is right for you, what is right for your life, and what is right for your kids. Keep reading to learn the 7 questions to ask yourself before choosing any daycare.
1) Is the location convenient for me?
Where is the daycare located? Ideally, you want something that is convenient to your normal travel route. Some parents get a daycare close to where they work, just to have a little more time with their loved ones in the car at the beginning and end of each day. Of course, it also helps to have one close to home if you ever need to drop off the kids and have some time to yourself at home or when entertaining guests.
2) Do the hours fit my schedule?
Daycares have varying hours of operation. Some are only open during business or banker’s hours so they don’t have to pay for multiple shifts of coverage, and they figure that parents only need coverage when they’re at work. However, does this fit your life? Do you always leave work on time? Are you like a growing number of employees who do irregular hours and shift work?
3) What is the child-to-caregiver ratio?
Payroll is a huge expense for daycares, and some try to do with as few employees as possible. Their idea of daycare might be letting a hundred kids run around in a fenced-in playground with just a handful of adults minding the herd. At some centers, this might actually be fine and safe and keep costs low. However, if your kids need special attention, or you want them to know their caregivers a little while there to feel safe, look into the child-to-caregiver ratio.
4) Is there first-aid available?
No parent can realistically expect a daycare to be a doctor’s office. Dropping off a sick kid isn’t just a bad idea, but also would draw the ire of the daycare and the other parents. Having said that, accidents and sometimes even emergencies happen.
You need to know what first aid supplies the daycare has on-site. Even more importantly are the staff. Who has what training? Find out what the specific protocols are when the daycare needs to take a kid to urgent care or even the hospital.
5) Will my kids learn anything?
As much as children need to play and be creative, they need to learn things to. A good daycare is going to provide chances for kids to learn things. This does not have to mean formal teaching though. Learning can occur through songs and games, but the most important learning kids can do at daycares is how to socialize with others in their age group.
6) Are the kids ever fed?
Kids seem like they’re always hungry, which makes sense considering how active they are and how their bodies are in constant growth. Daycares might not be able to keep your kids on the exact feeding schedule or even diet that you prefer for them, but meals and snacks do need to be provided if kids are there more than a few hours. Depending on how much your kids eat at a daycare, the savings on your groceries might offset the cost of the daycare itself a little.
7) Are the staff licensed and certified?
Rules, regulations and laws surrounding daycare centers and businesses vary drastically from state to state, and even from municipality to municipality within an individual state. Still, most locations require some level of certification or licensing of both the business and staff members. Check out the mandatory minimums for your area and make sure that the daycare you are considering meets them. Good daycares offer higher levels of certification and licensing than are mandatory, often belonging to professional or trade groups for higher levels of confidence and security.
When you ask yourself these 7 questions and know the answers, then you can find the right daycare for your kids, family and life.
How To Pick Out A Good Child Care Center
If you are a working parent you know you need to think about child care. You want to find a good place for your children to go. You don’t just want to take them anywhere as you know how important it is to find a good place.
The first thing you want to look at is the different reviews that each place has gotten. This will tell you a lot about the center and if it would be good for your children. If a center has a lot of bad reviews you should stay away because you might have some serious problems with it too.
You should also talk to other working parents in your area about where they send your kids. You can get some first-hand stories about the different centers. If someone had a really bad experience they will be sure to let you know about what happened and warn you to stay away. On the other hand, some friends might have some great stories of places that they have really liked.
When it comes to child care, you don’t just have to stick with a center. You can also have someone come to your home and watch your child. This option will cost you more money but it might be best for you and your family. See who is available for this type of job and interview them to see if they are a good fit.
If you live near family it is possible that they could watch your children for you while you are at work. This might not be an option for everyone but some people can really benefit from it. Sometimes a Grandparent or aunt and uncle would love to watch a child during the day.
While you are trying to decide what type of child care you want to go with you will also need to think about the cost. You know about how much you will make so you should be able to come up with how much you can spend for someone to watch your child.
Some people can afford better care than others and that can be hard. See what you can do and then try to find a good place that costs about that much. Keep in mind that your costs will go down once your kids start school but you still might need it for after school and on holidays.
In addition to the type of care and the cost of it, you need to think about location. It would be best to find a place for the kids to go that is between your home and your place of employment. That way you can just drop them off on the way to work. If you have to go out of your way to drop them off it will make the day more complicated.
In some cases, it might work to have a friend or neighbor keep your kids until school or until they can drop them off at daycare. If you know anyone that would be willing to do that, ask them. Even if you have to pay someone to do that it could make things easier for you if you have to be at work at a certain time.
Before you decide on what you are going to do make sure you really look over all of your options. If you can’t seem to make up your mind, try to go with the one you feel best about. Think about where you would want to drop off your children and where you would want them to be during the day.
After you have decided you will need to sign them up. In some cases, there will be waiting lists so that is something to think about. If you have to wait you might have to send them to another choice until they get in.
Talk things over with your spouse and other family members if you need advice. There could be things about the places that you haven’t thought about. It would be good to hear what others have to say even if you don’t end up taking their advice.
Finding The Best Preschool For Your Child
Choosing The Best Preschool For Your Child
When you want to make sure that your child is on the right track in terms of educational opportunities, you will need to be sure that you are first and foremost sending them to the right preschool. These schools will set the tone for the way that your child learns and will set them up with the right opportunity. If this concerns you, you should read on and take advantage of some of the benefits of sending your child to preschool, while also doing your research to know exactly what constitutes a great school and how to find it.
#1: Preschool Gives Your Child A Head Start For Kindergarten, and Kids That Go Tend To Test Higher
One of the greatest benefits of sending your child to one of these schools is that they will be able to have a high quality head start before going to primary school. Science is on your side in this regard, as the studies are clear that people who send their children to preschool for their education always tend to perform higher on tests and are more prepared once they go to grade school. It is for this reason that you will need to give your child that opportunity and that access by sending them to a high-quality school. There are a number of pre-kindergarten schools that you can send your child to, so by doing your due diligence in this regard and finding the one that will best suit your child’s learning style and sensibilities, you will be giving them the excellence that they need in terms of their educational opportunities.
#2: Your Child Will Get A Head Start In Terms Of Socialization
It is also critically important to send your child to a prekindergarten school because it helps in terms of socialization. This bridges the gap and allows the child to get used to playing with other children and they will not be as attached to the hip when you need to go to work. They will be able to have fun and play with other children and ease the anxiety that comes with going to school. By sending your child to one of these schools while they are this young, it will allow them to embrace the process and have fun with their education.
#3: Take A Visit To The Preschool
Once you are ready to begin shopping around for prekindergarten schools, make sure that you also take a visit. For best results, take a visit unannounced. This way, you will get an idea of how they operate when they are not expecting company. Be sure that you key in on a few criteria, including class-size, discipline style and the way that they speak and engage with the children. Also be sure to keep track of how clean the school is, since young children susceptible to sickness.
#4: Get On A List As Early As Possible
Once you find a school that you agree with, make sure that you get on the list as early as you can. These schools tend to fill up very quickly, so you will owe it to yourself to give them a head start by getting on a list. Otherwise, it may be a bit of a burden for you and you may see that they have trouble enrolling once the time comes. It is better to be safe than sorry, so ask about the enrollment process and make sure that your child has all of their ducks in a row.
#5: Choose A School Based On Their Teaching Style And Curriculum
Finally, be sure that you assess the teaching style. Every child learns differently, so make sure that the preschool that you are looking to send your child to is in line with the way that they learn and assess information. This will not only make it more fun for your child, it will allow the information to absorb in a more efficient manner and your money will be well spent.
Take advantage of these points and use them so that you are able to select the best school for your child.