Congratulations on your bundle of joy! You’ve spent six weeks looking after your baby, though, and now it’s time to leave them in a day care center so you can get back to work. Before you do, it’s important to do as much research as you can to ensure you are happy with your decision. Here are a few questions to ask before you settle on a center.
1. Is the lead teacher qualified?
Who, at the day care center, is the lead teacher, and is that person qualified? This is the person who runs the center and is there every day. Having a good relationship with this person is important, and they should be able to address your concerns and questions.
2. What are the staff/child ratios?
Take note of how many children are in each room – determine if it seems like there are too many children and the rooms seem chaotic. Or, perhaps, the rooms are structured and calm and there are a few activities going on at the same time, like at Guardian day care centre, Australia. Also, find out what the child/teacher ratio is in the class your child will be in. If there’s a lot of crossover between classrooms, the center may well be overcrowded.
3. What is staff/child interaction like?
Take note of how the staff interact with the children. Do they use firm voices when there is an issue, or do you hear screaming and yelling? Are the staff supporting and loving, or do they treat children as though they are pests? Also, find out if there are special needs teacher on the staff.
4. Is the curriculum stimulating?
Do the children at the centre have plenty of options every day, or does it seem like they do the same thing? Various activities should include outside play, puzzles, art, games, and science experiments.
5. Is there an open door policy?
Be sure that the center offers an open-door policy where you can come in any time to check on your little one. Also make sure the classroom has an open-door policy and ensure that every parent has a different code to access the building for security issues.
6. Placement of cameras
Find out if the center is equipped with security cameras, and where they are placed. Also ask if they are always running and who to speak to if you need to view something on the camera. Ask if the centre has a webcam portal or website where you can log in to watch during the day. Check out if there is a camera in the lobby, too, along with a television, and make sure it is on.
7. Food allergies
What is the center’s policy on food allergies? Do you need to send lunch with your child, and does kitchen staff have a list of allergies?
8. What’s the potty-training policy?
What is the centre’s potty training policy? Do you need to send extra clothing or does the centre have extra on hand? Should your child wear pull-ups or underwear? Will teachers follow your potty-training wishes?
Ask those questions whenever you’re choosing a day care centre and you’ll be able to choose the best one for your child.