Choosing a daycare provider for your children can be the most difficult and most important thing you will ever do for them. Many parents are financially unable to be fulltime parents; therefore, children are entered into daycare programs. Whether your child will be attending a private in-home daycare or a commercial daycare center, it is extremely important that each potential care center is properly inspected and that you have had numerous positive communications with the provider. Below is a list of important questions that every parent should ask when this meeting occurs.
What are you hours of operation? Before you spend a large amount of time investigating a provider, you should first make sure that they are able to care for your children according to your work schedule.
Are you a registered provider with your state? Many states require a person to become a registered daycare provider once they reach a certain amount of children under their care. Often times, states require these providers to take up-to-date classes pertaining to childcare and first aid.
How many children are currently under your care and what are their ages? This is an important question, because parents want to ensure that there is enough supervision to go around for each child. In addition, it essential to have other children around the same age of your child present. This will encourage interaction between others and often times children learn important skills from viewing others.
Is there a set schedule for feeding, napping, and playtime? If the answer is yes, this is a good sign that your potential provider is knowledgeable and organized.
Where do the children sleep? Make sure there is enough napping room for all of the children and that the nap area is close to an exit in case of an emergency.
Is there a set time for learning activities, such as reading? You are not just dropping your children off for someone to keep occupied for eight hours. Somewhere in that time, your child should be read to or at least given educational tasks to complete.
What is to happen when your child or the provider and his or her family is ill? If your child will not be present for daycare when they are scheduled to, determine if you are required to pay for the day. It is also important to know how your provider will handle an illness in their family. If the daycare is unable to open, how much notice you will receive?
It is also important that you tour the home or center that your child will be cared for in and make sure your child and the caretaker meet. Use this time to inspect the home set-up and to establish any potential safety concerns you have.
One of the last questions you should ask a potential daycare provider is the rate they will charge for caring for your child. Although many parents search for daycares with low fees, everyone need to remember that a well established and recommended daycare does come without a cost.