How to choose the right daycare for your child
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As a parent, allowing someone else to look after your child is a big step. Considering leaving them with ‘strangers’ the whole day while you're at work is downright scary.
If you're finding it difficult to choose the best daycare for your child, here are some things to do before making that all-important decision:
Do your research. Get recommendations from other parents and your paediatrician.
Check the centre out in person. Once you've narrowed down your choices, phone and arrange to visit the facility and see if it ticks all the required boxes.
Drop by and spy. While word-of-mouth referrals from other parents or trusted resources are important, you need to look at a place yourself to assess whether it meets your needs.
Positive teacher/child interactions. Are the children generally happy? Do they talk freely and openly with teachers and staff, or do they seem overly timid? Child behaviour is an honest indicator of classroom dynamics.
Racial/cultural diversity. It is important for children to see themselves represented in their setting. A high-quality facility will demonstrate racial and cultural diversity in reading materials, lessons, staff, and/or other children in the classroom.
Clean and cheerful. What is your first impression of the daycare centre? Is it bright and clean, well-kept and welcoming? Are the children happily occupied or does the atmosphere seem overly controlled?
Meals and snacks provided. Do they align with your idea of healthy? Will they accommodate food allergies?
Cost. Ask about registration fees, weekly and/or monthly rates and what those cover. Make sure the cost/payment schedule balance works for you.