Daycare centers have gained overwhelming popularity in recent years. Presently, there are about 856,238 childcare operators in the United States. If you are a working parent, work constraints may not allow you to be with your child every day. Sooner or later, you will have to take your child to a daycare center. But, choosing a good daycare can be overwhelming and stressful. How do you choose the best facility?
Here are five main factors that you should always consider when looking at daycare centers:
1. Operating Hours
A good daycare must always operate within your schedule. If you report to work by 8 am, then you need to look for a child care center that opens before this time. If you leave work by 7 pm, then you need a facility that operates beyond this time. In this context, choose a childcare center that opens early enough and closes late enough to accommodate your work schedule comfortably.
In the United States, the average cost of center-based childcare is $972 per month. This cost may, however, rise to $2,200 per month based on the services provided. Although cost should not always be a major concern, you don't want a childcare center that is far beyond your budget. When you understand the average cost, you can always look for a center whose fees are within the industry's average charges.
3. Services Offered
Apart from taking care of your child, consider other services that are offered in the daycare center. For instance, check if the meals provided have any nutritional value to your child. Also, check if the center provides extra snacks, breakfast, and lunch. Take time to ask about specific examples of foods offered. You can also visit their kitchen and check how food is prepared.
4. Children-Staff Ratio
When choosing a daycare facility, ask about the child-to-adult ratio. This ratio indicates the number of adults who are always present when children are playing, sleeping, and eating. For infants below 12 months, there should be 1 trained adult per 3-4 children. For infants between 1 and 2 years, there should be one trained adult per 3-6 young ones.
5. Training of Staff and Licensing
When you make your first visit to a daycare center, ask bout the staff's training. When caregivers are well-educated and experienced, you can go to work assured that your child is in good hands. It's advisable to ask if someone is trained in first aid or nursing to handle medical emergencies. Apart from the workers' training, check if the facility is licensed.
Sending your child to a daycare center is not an easy decision to make. It is stressful to imagine how your infant son or daughter will fair in the hands of someone else. Thus, take time and select a childcare center that offers high-quality and child-centered care.
When I wanted to work from home, the very first thing I could think to do was start a home-based child care. I had no idea how much paperwork would be involved. From safety inspections to licensing, there was a lot to do. I spent a lot of time researching and working with the licensing professionals locally to be sure that everything was in order. That's when I knew this site had to happen. I created it in the hopes of making the process easier for others who decide they want to pursue the same thing. The pages of this site are full of information from my experience as well as other child care topics that may be beneficial.