Did you know that a survey by the National Institute of Child Health development said that a majority of American day care centers rated as poor or fair, with only ten percent providing high quality care? For example, experts recommend that for every three infants between 6 and 18 months, there is one caregiver. However, they were finding that only one third of children were in such a setting. If you are looking for a quality day care option for your child or children, what are some things you should consider and look into?
First, get a list of acceptable day cares to research. Ask family, friends and neighbors who have small children what daycares they would recommend, or advise you to stay away from. There are also online reviews of many day care centers that can help guide you toward a suitable list.
Second, observe the environment yourself in order to make sure the preschool is a safe and healthy place for your child. There are several factors that feed into this. For example, are the play areas set up so that different age groups are separated? Is the furniture the right size for small children? Are sharp corners and electrical wires covered up, and doors kept shut to stairs? Does everything look clean and reasonably well organized? Et cetera.
Third, make sure that the staff and policies of the day care are in line with what you would expect from a quality daycare facility. It is important to have a staff that is happy and receives fair benefits. A facility well treated staff is likely to have better retention so that they are there for your children and not placing them in a constantly changing environment. Paid sick days ensure that employees will not come to work with colds and flus likely to be passed on to your child. Read up on what the appropriate staff to child ratios are for your child depending on their age, and see if the child care center complies with these.
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