If you are trying to find a daycare for your infant, toddler, or child, safety is likely one of your top concerns. Above all, it is important that you find a reputable daycare center that provides for the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of your child while keeping them safe. However, as a busy adult, you may not know how to tell whether a daycare center is as safe as it claims to be. Here are the five things you should look for in any daycare center you are considering.
1. A Lack of Licensing Violations
In most states, private daycare facilities need to be licensed in order to operate. Occasionally, small, at-home daycare centers do not need formal licensing. However, you should only choose these options if you know and trust the daycare provider already. If you are opting for a larger, formal daycare center, then you need to select one that is properly licensed.
Most states allow you to look up the current licensing information for individual centers online. Additionally, you may be able to see information regarding licensing violations for individual centers. This will let you know if the center has been above acceptable ratios of children to caregivers, if they have had complaints of neglect or abuse filed against them, and whether they keep their facilities clean and safe, among other things.
A single violation that is several years old may not be a deal-breaker, but if the facility you are considering has several recent violations, you should keep looking.
2. Proper Accreditation
There are several different types of accreditation for daycare centers, and each system of accreditation has different standards. However, most systems share basic standards of safety, cleanliness, and curriculum as well as ongoing training for caregivers.
If you are considering a daycare center, you should ask which accreditation they currently hold and then look up the specific standards that accrediting body requires to make sure they meet the personal standards you hold for someone caring for your child.
3. Positive Parental Reviews
You should ask parents who are currently sending their children to the daycare facility you are considering whether they are happy with the facility. However, you should also consider tracking down parents who no longer send their children to that daycare center to see if they give conflicting reviews. Online review sites such as Yelp offer sections for daycare centers, where you might find past reviews.
When talking with other parents, keep in mind that some of the features they like or did not like may not apply to you or your child. Instead, concentrate on issues of safety, transparency, and communication.
4. A Full Facility Tour
If a daycare facility offers high standards of childcare, they should not hesitate to offer you and your child a full tour of the facility. You should see where the children sleep, use the restroom, are changed, and eat. You should also see where they play and where their food is prepared. You should feel free to look around during your tour. If you feel rushed, it may be a sign that the daycare center has something to hide.
5. An Open Policy
Some daycare facilities have reasons for not wanting parents to stop in. For example, it can upset children to see other children's parents, which can disrupt daily activities. However, a facility that allows parents to volunteer and to drop in without prior warning may be more likely to keep higher standards of safety since they are under constant parental scrutiny.
If you are considering sending your child to a daycare facility, make sure the facility is safe by checking these five things. To start your search, speak with a representative from an establishment like Advantage Learning Center.Share