Daycare is a convenient option for many parents. When you feel like the time has come and daycare is necessary for your child, you want to make an informed decision to find the best facility possible. It’s a good idea to take a tour of the school and meet with an advisor before you enroll. During this meeting, it is advisable to have some questions prepared that will allow you to determine if the daycare meets your standards. Here are some questions you might want to consider asking.
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- What philosophy is used at the daycare and what are their main focuses?
- Do you offer a monitoring system?
- Do your educators have special certifications?
- Can they accommodate your child’s dietary needs?
- Is the facility clean?
- Does the daycare offer additional services?
- How long have the educators been working at the daycare?
- What is the average class size at the daycare?
- What is the daily schedule for children?
- What is the price of the school?
1. What philosophy is used at the daycare and what are their main focuses?
In today’s modern world, many daycares go outside the box, not just to care for your children, but to prepare them for learning. In doing so, many schools adapt different philosophies that can set them on a course for their educational experience. It is important to find out what sort of philosophy and focus the school uses to determine how they will be laying the foundation for your child’s education.
One popular method used is the Montessori method. Montessori focuses on child exploration, allowing children to choose their activities and explore them at their own pace. Montessori daycares also try to promote a calmer environment for children and teach them in more individualized settings.
Other daycares my incorporate more art-based teaching methods that include the performing arts. Others may be focused on learning a second language and embracing other cultures.
2. Do you offer a monitoring system?
The evolution of technology is allowing educators to include monitoring systems in our schools and daycares. This a data-based collection system that helps to collect information about attendance, enrollment and the children’s performance. This information can be passed on to parents to keep them in the loop and it can help the school make improvements for the future.
Access to the monitoring system for parents can be web based or app accessible. If you want constant access as to how your child is performing, an app-based monitoring system may be best for you. In any case, it’s a good idea to find out this information in advance.
3. Do your educators have special certifications?
There are several certifications a daycare can receive to ensure they are fully qualified and operating at their highest capacity. The National Association for Education (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high quality learning for young children. Educators that meet their national standards of quality will have the opportunity to equip their programs with the tools to provide the best learning experiences for their students.
Other certifications you may want to look for in your educators include CPR and First Aid, water safety, infant care classes (for younger children), Nanny Basic Skills Assessment, nutritional and cooking courses, fitness education and early childhood education.
4. Can they accommodate your child’s dietary needs?
Many children have allergies and dietary restrictions and daycares must be prepared to accommodate these children. Parents must make sure that strict regulations are put in place to ensure that no food will be given to their children which may cause any sort of outbreak. They must also make sure that foods are not be mixed so that there is a possibility that food that causes an outbreak ends up in their child’s dishes. Measures should also be taken so that children are not eating with other children who may be consuming foods that cause adverse reactions.
5. Is the facility clean?
Sanitation is an important issue when it comes to daycare and education. If a school is not clean, children will be more likely to spread sickness.
It’s a good idea to ask daycares how often the facility is cleaned and what measures are taken to make sure the classroom is kept clean during daycare hours. Children should also be encouraged to wash their hands regularly.
6. Does the daycare offer additional services?
Some parents are looking for daycares that offer additional services that go beyond a regular curriculum. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four different disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Here, an interdisciplinary and applied approach is used. Although daycare is generally for younger children, it is never too early to start integrating this approach into the way they are taught.
Other services parents may be looking for can include the introduction of a second language, gymnastics or performing arts. If having these additional services is important in finding the right daycare for your child, be sure to ask the facility about what they offer.
7. How long have the educators been working at the daycare?
No matter what a daycare may offer, the educators that are working with your child every day, can be the most important factor when finding the best facility for you. It’s important to know the educators are not only certified but experienced with a number of years working in the daycare industry.
In addition to that, it’s also important to find out how long the staff has been working at the daycare you are thinking of enrolling in specifically. Daycares with high turnover may have issues that will become apparent in time and are best avoided. You want to go with a daycare that treats it staff well and has caring educators that will be with your child until they are ready for their next stage in life.
8. What is the average class size at the daycare?
Some parents prefer a smaller class size for their child. They believe this will allow staff to be more attentive to their child’s needs. In any case, most parents will not want their child in an overcrowded classroom where they are likely to be uncomfortable and not benefit from an educator’s full attention. That’s why asking about class size is so important.
9. What is the daily schedule for children?
Many parents enroll their children in daycare, so they can be cared for when the parent is working. It’s important to know what the school’s schedule is so you can make sure care is available when you need it.
Some classes offer full- time options for students while others offer part-time. Part-time classes may be held during the morning or afternoon. Parents should think about their schedules to decide what works best for them. They should also consider their child’s needs. Younger children may not be prepared for a full day of daycare and may be better off going just a few hours a day.
10. What is the price of the school?
Every family has a budget. so the price of the school is something that should be taken into consideration. Be sure to ask about possible discounts and tax breaks that may be available as well.
Choosing Where is Best
Daycare is the beginning of your child’s education and will help set them on a path to success later in life. Make an informed decision when choosing the best daycare for your child by asking plenty of questions and doing research in advance. Good luck making the choice that is right for you.