When you must place your little one into childcare, safety and wellbeing will be of paramount importance to you. Investigate and explore every company you consider prior to making a final decision to ensure that your youngster will be healthy and happy with the placement.
Each state has specific licensing requirements for centers. Learn about the licenses required of your state, and then confirm that every facility you consider has current licensing in place. It’s also possible that facilities can go further than the minimum requirements of a state, earning additional certifications and accreditations. A center that goes further to earn additional accreditation is usually demonstrating that they provide a high quality of care for youngsters.
Explore the requirements for education and training. An excellent facility will typically require its staff to have specified degrees and related experience in the field. Look for a facility that also requires its staff to participate in continuing education. The director of a facility should have a degree in the field, as well as extensive experience.
A quality center will have a wide range of structural elements in place indicating the exemplary services it provides. For example, the facility should have a structured routine for each day with meals, snacks, rest, outdoor play, planned activities, and free indoor playtime. Meals and snacks served must comply with state requirements for nutrition.
A number of details make up the overall environment of a facility. The square footage of the rooms and outdoor play areas must be large enough to accommodate the number of youngsters. Check state requirements to ensure that a company meets minimum requirements for inside and outside square footage. Indoor amenities such as furniture, flooring, bedding, kitchen, bathrooms, diaper changing areas, and toys are important factors that combine to create a positive environment. The ratio between children and staff must meet or exceed state requirements. More staff members and fewer children in groups is an excellent indicator of quality. A low staff turnover also indicates that staff members and youngsters can bond, which increases the security of little ones.
Health and Safety
A childcare center must have health and safety standards in place to ensure that youngsters receive appropriate care. Review policies of a facility to ensure that it meets state requirements. The center must follow standards such as cleanliness, privacy, food preparation, and supervision of children. Staff members should have adequate emergency training to enable them to respond correctly in emergencies. Each youngster should have health screening performed and documented and updated immunizations. The center must have evacuation procedures documented, performing drills as required by the state.
Parents must be an integral part of quality childcare. A center that recognizes the importance of keeping parents informed and involved with their youngster’s experiences while at daycare demonstrates a strong program. Parents should receive daily updates about activities, experiences, and any problems that occurred. This collaborative relationship ensures that youngsters have their needs met.
Assess and analyze the policies and procedures of a childcare center prior to placing your child there. After placement, continue to monitor the care your little one receives.