Choosing the proper daycare center for your child should be a carefully thought out and researched process. With some daycare centers being exceptional and some being just plain bad, it is important to pick a center that helps your child grow and develop his skills while also having fun. Premier Academy has made a great list helping assist in finding the best childcare.
There are several advantages to having your child in a daycare center. Good centers have a mix of activities that will teach different skills. Projects that lead to creativity, storytelling, dancing, and singing all help the child learn instead of just playing all day. Children also get to socialize with other children, which they wouldn’t get to do as often if they were at home with a nanny. Finally, the daycares are more stable and consistent than nannies because the center will watch your child even if a teacher is sick.
To assist you in finding the appropriate daycare center, Premier has listed steps below that will guide you through finding a good daycare, as well as recognizing the signs of a bad daycare center (Part 2).
- Make a list of what’s important to you.
Do you want a center close to home? Close to work? Do you want your children to be with several children or prefer smaller groups?
- Research all your possibilities.
Ask your friends, family, doctors, and referral agencies for a daycare center they would recommend. Look on the Internet and in the phone book for other possible centers. When doing your research, be sure to think about your list of important topics. Is the center accredited by the National Association for the Education for Young Children or the National Association of Family Child Care? Has the center received any local award or recognition?
- Once you have a list of possible centers, call them on the phone and ask some preliminary questions.
This is a very important step. Make sure you remember your initial feeling of the conversation and write down if you had a good or bad feeling, including what made you feel that way. You should ask about their policies, hours, fees, activities, and philosophies on teaching children. Are they flexible to help you with your schedule? Will they accommodate your special requests? What is their teacher to child ratio? Do they change activities frequently? Do they have experienced teachers?
- Narrow down your list by crossing off the centers you had a bad feeling about.
Next, visit and interview the daycare center you had a good feeling about. Get a list of the activities and look around at the facility. Is the center a warm, clean, safe environment in which you think your child would learn and have fun? Be sure to pay close attention to the actual teacher to child ratio during your visit to verify what they told you it was over the phone. Also, ask any more questions you may have and make sure the director is allowing you free access to look at everything you want to see or know about. Again, your gut feeling is most important.
- Narrow down your list again then start checking references.
Call parents of children who are currently at the center or have had children at the center in the past. Ask their opinion of the center and if they would recommend it to you. If their child is no longer at the center, ask why.
- Take you child to the daycare center for a visit.
Observe how your child acts in the environment and around the teachers. Does your child seem comfortable? Do you think your child would be happy at the center?
Once you find a daycare that meets your qualifications and one that you feel your child would like, enroll your child. If there is a waiting list, get your name on the list and find a temporary caregiver until a spot becomes open.
Contact Premier Academy today to make your appointment! We offer the best childcare in Omaha, Nebraska.