Tips for Choosing Child Care

Child graphics, child care in Franklin, TN and Spring Hill, TN, our preschool offers daycare, Pre-K, prekindergarten and day care.

 

Top Tips for Choosing a Child-Care Provider

The Children’s Academy – Private Preschool in Franklin, TN and Spring Hill, TN

Choosing the right child care facility for your child can be a daunting task, so we want to offer some tips and suggestions to consider as you undertake the task of making this important choice.  We believe kids learn best when they feel happy & secure – read more about how our preschool is dedicated to helping your child grow!

  1. Safe and Secure

Safety and security is obviously a parent’s top concern. Look to see if the building and equipment are in good repair. A security system is key—this way only authorized people can come and go, and all entry and exit activity is monitored. Also, be sure you understand pick-up and drop-off procedures. What’s their system for knowing who is authorized to pick-up your child.

  1. Clean and Healthy

Cleanliness is also a high priority. Caregivers should encourage children to wash their hands often, especially after using the restroom and before eating. Caregivers should lead by example and follow the same procedures, including after diapering. Be sure to take a look around. Get a feel for the facility. Are the restrooms clean? What about the area where your child will be receiving meals?

  1. Warm and Responsive

You want to make sure your child is in a kind, loving environment and know that someone is dedicated to attending to your child’s needs. Listen for laughter and conversation between children and teachers. It is important that teachers talk to the children kindly and with respect. Also, look to see if teachers make an effort to talk to the children at eye-level. Infants should be held both lovingly and often.

  1. Stimulating and Dynamic

Children should be engaged in active learning through play. It is important that the children have interesting things with which to explore, read and interact. Look for blocks, puzzles, books, and dramatic play materials inside, and space and equipment for climbing, running, and throwing balls outside. Activity matters. Look at what is going on and think about whether your child would be happy there.

  1. Respectful and Welcoming

Look for an environment where the teachers and administrators respect your home culture and language. It is also important that the parents of enrolled children are welcome to visit at any time.

  1. Professional and Polished

Check the qualifications of the director and teachers, and make sure they are held to high standards. It is a plus if the staff has specialized training in child development, and if lesson plans and daily schedules are posted and clearly available for parents to read.

  1. Staffed and Steady

It is important that enough trained adults are available at all times. You want your child to get the attention he or she deserves, of course, but this is also a safety precaution. Ideally, there should be no more than four infants per adult, no more than seven 2-year-olds per adult and no more than ten preschoolers per adult.  Ask what the staff turn-over rate is.  Child care programs typically have some annual turn-over, but it is a red flag if the turn-over rate exceeds 33 percent annually.

  1. Clear and Communicative

Consistent, clear communication between center staff and you is essential. Ask if the director sends out regular newsletters and if not, how he or she regularly communicates with parents. It is also important that teachers schedule conferences or write daily notes sharing information about your child’s development. Ask if the facility has written policies compiled in a parent handbook. If so, this is a very good sign.

  1. Recommended and Accredited

References go a long way. It is notable if the center can help you check references by providing contact information for current or past enrolled families (with their prior permission, of course). It is also important to check with licensing authorities for any infractions the center may have.

  1. Finally, gut-check

Trust your gut. If it is telling you “no,” keep looking.

 

2 Comments
  • Callum Palmer
    Posted at 04:44h, 10 January Reply

    I agree, when you’re choosing a child care center you should focus on one that encourages active learning. You need to make sure that the child care center provides a stimulating atmosphere for your child to learn and play in. It might even help to go visit the center in person and see how they let the kids play.

  • Derek Dewitt
    Posted at 17:00h, 15 August Reply

    My wife and I want to enroll our son in a daycare soon, so thanks for these tips. I like your point about choosing a location that has schedules and lesson plans. I want him to learn all he can while there, so we’ll be sure to look for this.

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