It is not very difficult to find a daycare centre. But to find the one which is perfect for your child can often be a daunting task. It is therefore important to take this job seriously because it is about the well being of your little one. Start your search at least six months prior to the time you will need it in order to ensure you land the best daycare. Remember to be as exhaustive in your lookout as possible. Glance through the following points to know how to zero in on the best daycare centre for your child:
Understand what your priorities are
Know what exactly you are looking for and note them down. Find out whether you prefer a centre near home or near your office. Also, would you want your kid to be around many other children or just a handful of them? These are crucial questions that need to be answered first.
Conduct your research well
This is a very significant step in deciding on the daycare centre for your kid. Ask for referrals from friends and family in order to have a list of the dependable daycare centers in your locality.
You can consult experts too. Call up the nearest daycare referral agency and ask for references of the good playschool. They have a database and can suggest you the right names.
Do it yourself. Go online and search for the best centers. Look for reviews, recommendations and suggestions to find out how a certain centre fares with other parents. An alternate way would be to sit down with your phone directory and call up the daycare centers in your area.
Visit the centre yourself and ask questions
You need to know how a particular daycare centre is like. It is enough if you call them up and ask questions. It is only a good idea as far as an initial contact is concerned. Make it a point to visit the place and meet the staff.
While visiting the centre, interview its staff and director. Ask about things ranging from fees to hours, discipline rules to availability of vacation, from feeding to other child rearing concerns.
The environment should be safe and healthy
While interviewing the staff, find out about health and safety policies such as immunization, hand washing to dealing with illness, among several others. The centre should be certified in first aid and should have plans for emergency situations.
A good teacher-to-child ratio is important
Find out the teacher-to-child ratio of this particular centre. There should ideally be one caregiver for every three to four young toddlers, and one caregiver per four to six old toddlers or six to nine preschoolers. This ratio is important as it ensures one-to-one attention for your kid.
Concentrating on learning and development
A good daycare centre focuses on the development of the children by stocking up on toys and game materials suitable for them. They should promote and encourage music, reading, art and outdoor games.