5 Qualities of a Good Daycare

Published: 30th March 2010
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Looking for a daycare can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating experience. You are looking for someone to look after your child 8-10 hours a day, five days a week. It is important that you trust these people and the place they are in. Some of the more important aspects are common knowledge: is the area safe, are there activities for the children, what are the staff qualifications, etc. But what are other areas that can be looked at to raise the comfort level in leaving your child there for the day?

Staff

The first question I always ask is how many staff per child, in each area of the country there are specific regulations on the child/teacher ratio but a good daycare will have a ratio of 3/4 to 1 for infants (6 to 18 months), 6/8 to 1 for toddler (18 - 30 months) and then 10/12 to 1 for preschool. Be sure to check to regulations in your area regarding the minimum. Along with the required teachers there also needs to be someone who goes from room to room helping should issues arise.

Food

Most daycare provide meals, breakfast, snack, lunch and afternoon snack. Is food prepared on-site or catered? Is the cook a registered dietitian? Is there a meal plan laid out in advance? Getting answers to these questions can go a long way in determining if your child nutritional needs are met. If you are paying for meals and breakfast includes ΒΌ bagel with some butter that really is not very good value.

Moving Up

Some daycare are only licensed for so many spaces in each room, infant (6 - 18 months), toddler (18 - 30 months) and preschool when a child moves up from one room to another there needs to be a space for them. For example if a child in the infant room needs to move up to the toddler room there needs to be an open spot. If the daycare is licensed for 10 infants and 10 toddlers then it is possible that when an infant moves up there will not be a spot. It is a good idea to pick a daycare that has more toddler spaces than infant, this ensures that a space is available and you will not be caught looking for a new daycare.

Termination

What is the policy for terminating the agreement? Most daycare will have policies regarding when and why termination notices are given, no space available for child moving up, continued lateness for child pickup, disruptive children, etc. It is important to find out how much notice is given if you need to find another daycare.

Health

What policies are in place to ensure a healthy clean environment? Is there a policy for cleaning and disinfecting toys, hand washing, etc? How is the diaper change area maintained? With younger children starting to develop their immune system it is important that the staff take precautions to avoid the spread of germs and other infections.

Finding a good daycare takes time and effort and can get stressful but knowing what questions to ask and getting good honest answers from the provider can make the process significantly easier.

Garry's been writting article and reviews on various products for some time. View more articles and reviews written by Garry at http://bamboobedding.org including then newest on Bamboo Bedding and Fabrics

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