What to Look For in a Daycare

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Many families include two out of home working parents. This means when a new baby arrives, parents need to find an arrangement to make sure that their child is taken care of while they work. According to the United States Census Bureau, 32.7 million children in the United States were in some sort of regular childcare arrangement in 2011. Many of these children are cared for by daycare centers.

So what should you look for in a daycare?

  1. Caregiver to child ratio. Generally speaking, the higher the ratio of caregivers to children the better. More caregivers means your child gets more individual attention. Their needs will be met more quickly, and effectively.
  2. Training and Certification. When you go to tour a daycare, ask what certifications the daycare has. Are they accredited by nationally recognized childcare organizations like the National Association for the Education of Young Children? Also ask about the training of the individual caregivers who work there. Better-trained caregivers at accredited facilities are more likely to give higher quality care to your children.
  3. Ask to watch the caregivers interact with children. Even with stellar credentials and a high ratio of caregivers to kids, you just don’t know what goes on in a daycare facility day-to-day. Ask if you can sit in for a day to watch the daycare in action. Observe how the caregivers interact with the children there. Are they attentive? Responsive? Patient? These are all essential factors in high quality care.
  4. Cleanliness. Finally, make sure any daycare facility providing care for your child has a high standard of cleanliness and sanitation. Keeping your child healthy is important and a clean facility lowers the risk of your child getting sick.

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