Choosing a childcare provider for your child is a difficult task. After all, how do you determine a virtual stranger’s worthiness when it comes to caring for the person you most value in life? Fortunately, you can find a reputable and trustworthy professional by following some practical steps, and it begins with getting some basic information. Here are five questions parents should ask before hiring a daycare provider:
Who will be working with my child? Generally speaking, daycare centers divide children in age groups and appoint specific instructors to each group. Your child’s instructor will be the person your child will go to for guidance and support throughout the day, and will also be the person you communicate with when it comes to your child’s daycare experience.
What is your adult to child ratio? In addition to knowing which adults your children will be spending the majority of their time with, you should also be aware of how many adults there are per children in the entire facility. This is especially important in large facilities, where you want to be sure your child will get ample attention.
What is your visitor and pick-up policy? The daycare should never allow visitors to spend time with your children or strangers to pick up your children – even in emergencies – without your expressed written consent. Find out what types of policies the daycare has in place to protect your child from adult predators.
What is your payment and withdrawal policy? Will you have to pay for child care even when you take your child on vacation? How far in advance must you tell the daycare that you plan on withdrawing your child? These financial policies should be outlined in the daycare contract, but you should verify them before you sign anything, or else risk costing yourself unnecessary hundreds down the line.
What safety measures do you have in place to protect my child? You want to be sure that your child’s health, safety, and well being are protected while you are away. There are many considerations when it comes to daycare safety – including food prep, emergency drills, sanitation, safe playground equipment, illness prevention, and more – and your daycare of choice should have very clear safety policies and procedures in place.
Running a daycare is not child’s play. It is serious business that involves the care of your most precious treasure. Your little ones deserve to be in an environment that will nurture their talents and curiosity, and surrounded by people who care about their well-being.