Perhaps one of the most stressful things for a new mom (or dad) returning to work after having a baby is finding the proper childcare facility for your child. Some countries and/or companies allow for a lot of time off after your baby is born. But others allow very little or no time off. Therefore, some parents will be looking for infant care while others will need to find childcare for toddlers. Some will look to a childcare facility, while others will look to a small private home daycare-- and everything in between!
When considering a daycare facility, here are some tips on things you may want to do, or to keep an eye out for.
How to Find the Right Daycare for Your Child
1. VISIT THE FACILITY IN PERSON, AND WHEN IT'S OPEN– this is a great way to get a feel for a place! Listen to your instincts; if you feel comfortable and happy there, odds are your child will too. Watch how the staff interacts with the children. If you get a bad feeling about anything, trust it and look elsewhere. Also, if a facility won’t let you stop in to meet the staff and check things out while they are open, ask yourself why.
2. IS THE FACILITY TOO CLEAN? By this, I don’t mean spotless. There are kids there and kids make messes! You should be able to see if the mess and dirt are fresh from the day or if it is months’ worth of grunge. Conversely, a childcare facility that is too clean could also be a cause for concern – are the kids allowed to be kids or are they too worried about messes?
3. ASK TO SEE THEIR LATEST INSPECTION REPORT- A facility with nothing to hide will gladly show this to you!
4. TALK TO PARENTS- Talk to other parents with small children and ask for their recommendations and comments.
5. TAKE NOTE OF CHILDCARE ACTIVITIES - Is there a good variety of activities and playthings? Or does it look as though there are only a few worn toys and not a lot of opportunity for different kinds of play?
6. SECURITY- Are there sufficient gates and fences to keep little ones from wandering off? Would it be difficult for someone who does not belong there to access the facility?
7. CHECK THE CHILDCARE FACILITY'S RESTROOMS- Are the washrooms kid-friendly with child sized toilets and sinks at lower levels? Are they clean and fresh?
8. NAP AREA- Are there a nice quiet areas for naps with a different area for babies? If they use cribs, do they meet the current safety standards?
9. ASK ABOUT DIET- Ask what kind of foods will be provided, or if food is not provided, where they store lunches and snacks that the kids bring from home? How do they manage the food? Is the eating area clean and kid friendly with smaller tables and chairs?
We all want the best possible situation for our children and for them to be happy and well cared for. If there is something you think I am missing, let me know at www.maternitycorner.com.