Parents never feel like handing over the responsibility of their child to some stranger but due to commitments of career and other irresistible tasks, parents have to drop off their children to day-care centers and homes. Therefore, it becomes very important for parents to look for reliability and other factors while picking a right day-care. There are two different kinds of day care facilities, first being the Group day care wherein their functioning is similar to that of a pre-school and are licensed by the government. The second category is the In-home day care, wherein the child is looked after by an individual at their home and here the factor of personal tough is higher. But making this decision is a tough one and therefore this is what parents need to about choosing a good day care: -
·Safety: - Safety is one of the top most factors that affect the choice and must be taken into consideration by parents before they choose a day care for their child. It must be ensured that a safe sleeping habit is followed at the day care center, including the availability of a crib which is fitted with a firm mattress and has a tight fit sheet. Parents must look for a place where their child can sleep peacefully on their back, surrounded by soft toys and pillows.
·Cleanliness: - It has been seen that babies tend to fall ill easily and their immune system is also weak and therefore cleanliness is an utmost priority. Non-tidy places are a home of illness and it should be ensured by parents that they duly inspect the place and also question them about their cleaning habits and maintenance of hygiene in the day care center. Children tend to create a mess after they are done with playing but it is the duty of day care center that cleaning is done every now and then.
·Interview the teacher/care taker of your child: - Parents should always try to talk and understand more about the care taker of their child since it has been observed that children pick up the good and bad habits of people, they spend time with. It becomes important to ensure that the person their child is spending 5-6 hours of their day is a good one and will be good for their growth and learning.
·Look for accreditations and licenses: - Parents should make sure that if they are choosing a group day care then they must look for licenses and accreditations to have a sense of security and safety. These are various entities that provide these accreditations after strict scrutiny and hence, parents should look for the same.
·Engagement Activities: - The day care centers these days offer activities that keep the children engaged and help them in learning things. Parents should make sure that the activities that are being offered at the day care are age-appropriate and are facilitating their learning and growth.
·Daily Routine: - Different day care centers offer different activities and routine that children will follow. Parents should look for a daily routine that will suit their child as well as their home environment because one day the child will stop visiting the day care center which will create a problem for the child to adjust.
·Storytelling and reading time: - Building of these basic skills is very important for a child in early days since these habits help them in better adapting and increases their learning capacity and capabilities. Parents should look for day care centers that offer these two services i.e. a separate and compulsory storytelling time and reading time.
·Trained classroom/ day care staff: - Parents should go through the experience and qualifications of the teachers and other people who will be related to their child. This is important because of the same reason that the child will learn from them the most and therefore parents should make sure that the day care they are choosing is qualified and experienced enough to take care of their child.
·Cost Involved: - Cost constraints must also be considered by parents when they are picking a good day care. Some day care centers are overly-priced and parents should always compare and weigh the advantages or facilities being offered by the day care with the cost they are charging for the same.
·Take recommendations and talk to other parents: - Talking and knowing about the experience of other parents is always considered to be a good measure before parents pick out a good day care center for their child. Experiences always speak and can help in understanding the truth behind the promises made by owners.
The above mentioned are the main factors and constraints that must be kept in mind by parents while they are selecting a day care for their child. Choices will also depend upon the age group to which the child belongs and can vary accordingly. Making a wise choice is important and can help their child have a happy childhood.