Finding a Daycare Four Tips to Help You Make an Informed Decision
Finding a daycare is one of the most important decisions working parents will make for their young children. Typical parents look for more than a babysitting service when it comes to finding a daycare; they want their children, no matter how young, to get something out of a daycare program. Most reputable daycare centers follow a curriculum that focuses on enrichment activities, even in very early child care.
With so many options available, parents can find making an informed decision about finding a daycare to be quite overwhelming. Studies have shown that children who participate in a high-quality early childhood education program end up more likely to be homeowners and have higher paying jobs than their peers who did not. This puts a lot of pressure on a parent who is trying to determine how to find a good day care. Here are some tips and tricks to help in finding a daycare:
- Take a tour: Touring a daycare center during a regular day is the perfect way to get a feel for their day to day operations. Ask to observe a classroom for a while. Chat with teachers and other staff, and maybe catch a parent or two who would be willing to tell you what to expect.
- Ask about curriculum, teacher to student ratio, and classroom size: Some sort of curriculum should be followed, even for the youngest children. A structured day will better prepare them for actual instruction as they get older. Smaller, more intimate classrooms are ideal, and the younger the children are, the fewer students per teacher there should be.
- Ask about outdoor play: Most daycare centers take students outdoors daily. Outdoor activities as part of a program of well rounded day care activities are a cornerstone in social, personal and emotional development.
- Just try it out! Nothing is going to give you a better idea of whether a day care center is right for your child than trying it out. Once you’re pretty certain, the only way to know for sure is to have at it. Once your child is enrolled, you’ll get the clearest picture of how the daycare center can work for you. Whether you have an infant, or a child in pre-school, following the routine for awhile will really show the benefits of having a child in a day care center. Ask your child what he likes about the center and what he might not like. Keep the lines of communication open with teachers and the center director, and you will be well on your way to getting the most out of the day care experience for your child.
Finding a daycare is no easy task, and knowing how to find good daycare is even harder. Following one or all of these tips will go a long way in helping to make that decision whether you are looking to find daycare for your infant, or preschool for an older child. When you’ve done your homework, you can rest easy in knowing that your child is both at the best day care center, and the center that is right for your family.
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