Tips For Choosing A Daycare That's Right For You:
1: Ask Around
Before jumping into the first daycare your come to, check out a few before making your final decision. Take some notes. Write down the pros and cons. Ask other people their thoughts and opinions. Have friends or family come along, so they can give you their input. They may notice something you didn't. Don't be afraid to be picky.
Interview the daycare provider. Find out how many children she's has at once and if she has a helper. Find out how long she's been doing daycare and if she has future plans with it. What kind of liscense does she have and is she CPR certified? Get a copy of her schedule and meal plans. Find out what kind of activities they do. A good provider will not get offended with you asking questions. They like a parent that is concerned with their child's well-being.
3: Look Around You
While you're at the providers home, take a look around. How many children are there? Does it seem safe? Are the children happy? How are the adults interacting with them? Is it too loud, or too quiet? Too much noise can reflect lack of control. Too little noise may mean not enough activity going on. Use your own judgement. It doesn't take long to get a feel for the situation. Are there plenty of toys for the kids? What about the yard. Is it close to a main road? Is it fenced in? Does it look safe?
4: Don't Limit Yourself To Location
It's easy to pick the first daycare that's on your way to work. It's convenient. Make sure it meets all your expectations before making that final decision. It's better to go a little out of your way and have a quality daycare that you feel good about than to find one "on the way" that isn't right for you or your child.
5: Pop In
Don't be afraid to give your provider a surprise visit every now and then. By doing this you can see what's going on at that time. You will get a better idea if it is a right daycare for you or not. Pop in one day during meal time, another day during activities. You have every right to do that and should NEVER feel bad about it. It's your child we're talking about.
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