If you’re considering center-based childcare for your child, you’ve undoubtedly noted the various differences between centers, in terms of childcare philosophies, staffing decisions, and facilities. Choosing which center is best for your child can be a tough decision, especially when you’re not quite sure what factors to take into consideration. Our eight questions can help you to make the big decision, and to feel confident about it.
Choosing a child care center. 8 questions:
- First of all, take a look at the basics. Is this environment clean and safe? Is the center in compliance with safety and sanitation standards?
- Is the center licensed by the state or local government?
- In addition to the local government, ask the center’s staff if it is accredited by a national accrediting association such as NAEYC or NEPCA.
- How much training do the staff members have? Are they experienced in early childhood development? As you interact with the staff, be sure to ask about their qualifications.
- Think about your family’s values. Are the values of this childcare center in line with your own when it comes to learning, discipline, character building, and conflict resolution? Keep more mundane issues such as feeding and potty training under consideration.
- Does your child have specific needs, and is this center equipped to meet them? From nut allergies to behavioral concerns, talk to the staff about how they can accommodate your child.
- What is the caregiver/child ration? Do you feel comfortable with the number of staff present in the infant room? Do the ratios in the toddler and preschool rooms meet your expectations?
- How would you feel after dropping off your child at this center day after day? In addition to the above questions, talk to the center’s staff about the amount of updates and degree of transparency at this particular center. Their answers may surprise you and make you feel even more comfortable.
If your child is already enrolled in a childcare center, how did you make the decision? Let us know in the comments section!