Which daycare provider should you choose? This is your toddler's first time in care and you're not sure which center is the best option for your family. Whether you've already started the search process or you're ready to begin right now, take a look at the ABCs of choosing a childcare provider.
As a first-time daycare parent, you may not know what questions to ask—or who to ask. If you don't already have a Q and A list, start with these common child care questions:
- Are they licensed? Ask the center's director or primary administrator whether the daycare has a state or local government-issued license. Licensed centers must follow strict minimum health and safety requirements.
- How many children are in each classroom? This is another question for the daycare director. The smaller the class size, the more individual attention your toddler will get. Young toddler groups shouldn't exceed 6–12 kids per classroom.
- What are the fees? Again, ask an administrator (not the teacher) this question. Fees could include tuition, meals, late pick-up fees, and similar charges. Discuss the payment structure during your initial conversation. The center may offer monthly, bi-annual, or yearly options.
- What does a typical day look like? Talk to the teacher to learn more about what your toddler will do, classroom activities, meals, rest periods, and other daily schedule-related issues.
Along with these questions, make a list that includes anything you feel is important to ask. These questions should include anything specific to your child or family.
Bring Your Child With You
A site visit can help you to learn more about a center than you would during a phone interview. But this doesn't mean you should tour the facility solo. Bring your toddler along for the trip. This allows you to see how your child reacts to the new environment and provides your toddler with the chance to check out their new school.
Create a Reference Guide
What do other parents, family members, or friends have to say about your child's future new school? Talk to moms and dads who are in the know and ask for references. Instead of generic reviews, look for references with plenty of details.
Many generic types of descriptions state the obvious or refer to the bare minimum any provider should offer. Compile a binder of detailed references to review before you choose one center over another.
To learn more, contact services like Happy Days Childcare & Learning Center.