In families with two working parents, there are few things more important than finding a good daycare! As with any parent, you want the absolute best for your child, but with so many daycare options out there it can be hard to figure out which one is the best. While there is no “one size fits all” solution, these are a few questions you should ask when you’re trying to find a good daycare for your child.
What is the group size and adult-to-child ratio?
While recommendations for ratios and group sizes can vary, smaller group sizes are nearly always better because of the increased individual attention each child gets. Your child probably doesn’t need one-on-one attention from a daycare provider all day every day, but by putting them in a setting with smaller groups you can make sure the adults caring for them get the chance to engage and get to know your child. Small groups can also be helpful for more introverted children, making it easier for them to socialize and make friends.
What are their security policies?
These policies may include several things, but a few basic policies you’ll want to know about are:
- What is the pickup policy? Who is allowed to pick up a child, and what systems are in place to make sure your child will only be picked up by you, their other parent, or another qualified person? This may seem basic, but it’s important to know what their systems are and make sure they are secure and work well for your family’s situation.
- Do they have an open-door policy? If not, why? An open-door policy means that you, as a parent, can come to check on your child at any time, for any reason. Simply knowing that you could swing by and check on your child whenever you want can give you a lot of peace of mind!
- Do they have cameras, and if so, where? Many daycare centers have cameras at doors, in hallways, and even in classrooms to assure the safety of children. Some may even allow parents to check the footage, while others use it only for security. While there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” answer here, it’s important for you as a parent to be aware.
What sort of reputation do they have?
Reputation isn’t everything, but it is a very important thing! Ask around before you put your child in a specific daycare, and make sure that daycare is known for a nurturing, safe environment. Does anyone you know have experience with that daycare? Have you checked them out online? Learning about their reputation, in-person and online, can help you make an informed decision about whether or not a certain daycare is a good fit for your family.
Choosing a daycare is an important decision, and the most important thing is finding a daycare that is just right for your family. Whatever you’re looking for, being armed with these questions will help you make an informed decision and choose the best daycare for your child!