Choosing a childcare center is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent of a young child. You’ll want to find a childcare provider that is the right fit for your family, not only for your own peace of mind but also to ensure your child’s healthy growth and development. A daycare service should have all the components of a healthy, encouraging, caring, and loving environment to support your child’s growth and learning.
Do Your Research
When you’re beginning your search for the perfect childcare facility, start by doing some research. Consider aspects such as what programs you’re looking for, how old your child is, what kind of activities you want them participating in, etc. Look online to see what the reviews are for the daycare you’re considering and go through their website to see how they describe their programs and activities. Make sure their philosophy aligns with your parenting style so you don’t waste your time with a facility that won’t be a good fit.
Always take a tour for yourself when searching for a childcare facility. Interact with the caregivers and prepare questions to ask them. It’s also important to pay attention to how they interact with the kids currently enrolled in the center. Are the caregivers on the ground playing with them or standing by supervising? It’s important to observe how the caregivers handle any issues that arise. You should also pay attention to the day to day activities that the children are participating in to get a better idea of what your little one will be doing every day. Ask about safety procedures and how their staff has been trained, as well as the ratio of teachers to children.
Learn About the Programs
You want to find a childcare provider that creates the right environment for your child to promote healthy development. It should be a positive and encouraging atmosphere with lots of playtime and social interaction. Ask about the resources that the facility has and the kinds of activities that they provide. There should be an assortment of activities like art, reading, music, and play to create a well-rounded schedule for the children that stimulates brain growth and motor skills.
Consider Those Around you
The easiest way to find the right childcare facility for your child is to ask other parents! There are great resources and testimonies all around you, from fellow parents around your neighborhood, clubs, or your friends who have put their child in daycare. You may receive a variety of different answers and places that you haven’t even considered. It’s important that they are open and honest with you and share their true opinion of a place you may be thinking about. Meet up with some of your friends and discuss their experiences with various daycares and the questions and concerns they had. You will feel less alone and be able to build a support system, plus you may end up at a place where another friend’s child goes and you can carpool!
At the end of the day, you know your child best and if you’ve done the right research, trust that you’ll put them in the right childcare. Be sure to pay attention to any gut feeling as it can guide you as a parent and help you decide what’s best for your child. If you visit a facility or talk to a caregiver and get a strange feeling, listen to it. See if the facility lets you have a trial run where you child goes there for a day to see how they like it.
Childcare at The Y
At the YMCA of Greater Williamson County, we know how important it is for you to find the right childcare for your little one, which is why we provide Preschool licensed by the Department of Family and Protective Services. We have all the training, experience, safety and high-quality care you could ask for. The YMCA is the nation’s largest childcare provider, so you can be rest assured that your child is in good hands.