As a parent you want the very best for your child. Finding quality child care is one of the most critical decisions parents face. Just as a child needs clothing and shoes that fit, they need a childcare program that is also a good ‘fit’.
Following is a list of suggestions to aid in your evaluation of caregivers and childcare programs.
- Start Early! – Some accredited programs have long waiting lists. If at all possible, begin several months before care is actually needed.
- Take Your Time and Make Visits! – Visit as many programs as you can and talk to other parents about their personal experiences.
- Ask Questions! – Ask about the turnover rate. How long have the caregivers been with the same center? How long has the center been in business? It is very difficult for children to develop the vital nurturing attachments they require if caregivers are constantly changing.
What you are looking for in a good childcare program is a well-trained, competent, caring staff that puts the needs of the children first. The rooms should be clean, organized, and not overcrowded. You should not see any obvious signs of danger or neglect and the caregivers should treat the children with respect and kindness. You and your child should feel welcomed and you should be free to visit the center whenever you choose.
If for any reason you feel as if something is just not right, trust your instincts as a parent and look elsewhere.