Year One – Post 12 | What is Quality Daycare?
Child care varies considerably. There are advantages and disadvantages to every situation. I am going to cover some of the basics that you need to look into.You can hire in-home care, private home care, church preschools, Montessori Schools, public day care, private day care and the list can go on. Child care ranges in cost and availability. It is important to consider the following:
- Get references and do your research. If it is a day care, ask if they do background checks. Some daycares only do in-state checks and not national.
- Ask about child-to-teacher ratios. See what your individual state allows. Make sure that it meets your standards. Ask about staff turnover, which can be a warning flag. You want people that are happy taking care of your child.
- Day care centers have a star rating and a health inspection report. If they provide meals, make sure they understand if there are special dietary needs your child may require.
- Understand the disciplinary policies of the caregiver/day care and that you agree with their standards.
- Ask if there are any pending lawsuits or complaints that have been filed against the caregiver/daycare.
- Ask about their policy when it comes to toilet training?
- Are they equipped to accommodate special needs children (if applicable)?
- Interview the potential caregiver(s). What is the experience and educational level of the caregiver? Ask what activities they would do with your child.
- What is their theory about child rearing? What are their values, morals or beliefs?
- What would they do in case of an emergency? Do they have CPR or first aid training?
- Would they transport your child and if so, would you allow that?
- Your child will be exposed to more viruses and bacteria then is in your home environment. This could increase the incidence of Otitis Media with effusion or upper respiratory diseases. If your child seems to have repeated ear infections, this could affect his language learning ability or his health. Talk to your health care provider about the advantages and disadvantages of day care.
When you have made the decision, drop-in unexpectedly to make sure all is well. If your child has enough language to talk to you, ask questions about your child’s day. Some day cares have video cams where you can check on your child throughout the day by the use of your phone.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series