On Jun 16th, a toddler at a daycare in Chapel Hill, NC was left in a hot vehicle for several hours due to an oversight of one of the day care providers workers. To make matters worse, the center did not call 911, but brought the child to her parents after spending hours in temperatures upwards of 100 degrees with her soaked clothes in a bag. The parents allege that the daycare staff offered her coupons and freebies so that she wouldn’t call authorities about the incident.
While the little girl received medical attention and recovered, she was very lucky. This scenario is close to the worst nightmare of many parents choosing day care providers. Parents want to make sure that their children are receiving the best possible standard of care when they cannot be there. Here are 5 of the most important things to consider when finding a daycare for your child.
There is a lot to consider when choosing childcare. What is important to you? Is it proximity to your home, price, programming, adult to child ratio, or something else? Do you prefer a private day care or corporate daycare? What are the certification requirements for daycare providers in your state? What are some dealbreakers that would make you never choose a certain daycare in the first place?
- Research and Visit.
ASK QUESTIONS. Look around the daycare, especially to the floor, where children spend most of their time. Are the caregivers on the floor with the kids? Are babies being handled or left in jumpers? How are the toddlers interacting with staff? The average toddler asks upwards of 400 questions a day. The first few years of life are the most formative; children are capable of absorbing more knowledge at once than they ever will be capable of absorbing again, and good day care providers are not just babysitters.
- Drop in.
Make a point, either before or after choosing daycare providers, of stopping in unannounced. A child is more active at the age of two than they will be at any other time in their life. This will give you a good idea of what they are really doing while you’re away, and soothe any fears you may have.
Choose a provider that you feel a strong rapport with. This will become essential when dropping off and picking up your child, letting the caregiver know how the child slept, whether they ate breakfast, and receiving information in kind at the end of the day.
- Nothing is permanent.
If a daycare is not working out, it will not hurt your child to find another option. The most important thing is that they are receiving the time and attention a young one needs to fully develop into the best adult they can be.
Did we miss anything? Leave it in the comments!