We have all read articles about how gruesome conditions can be at child care centers. It should be noted that not all child care facilities are deserving of a bad name. The ones that truly deserve the bad reputation are those that are understaffed, over-enrolled and lacking in supervision.
If your child is going to end up with a gem of a daycare rather than with one of the rotten eggs, you just need to know what youíre looking for.
Licensed by the State
The very first thing you want to look for is a state licensed center. These child care centers are required to obtain and maintain certification from the state to continue to stay in business. Part of that certification involves mandatory fire safety measures and employee first aid and CPR training, so itís definitely something you want your childcare center to have firmly in their possession.
Toys that are Appropriate for the Childrenís Ages
The must-see movie, Toy Story 3, brings an important issue to light for todayís childcare providers, in that the film illustrates the value of choosing toys that are suitable for each childís age. Not only must toys with sharp edges and potential choking factors be kept away from little hands, but all children should be exposed to toys that will contribute to their development and help them expand their knowledge of the world they live in.
Open Play Spaces
If your living room looks like most living rooms with children in the household, it is cluttered with toys, clothes, chairs, playpens, books and all the things that make childhood worthwhile. What it lacks, besides extreme tidiness, is space for all the kids to run around and play.
At home, that means sending kids out to spend a large percentage of their day outside (even if it means tossing on the snowsuit and gloves and taking winter head-on). At a top notch child care facility, where kids are going to be spending a good portion of their day inside, and going to Chuck E. Cheese when the weather is bad isnít an option, areas for open play should be plentiful for all age groups.
Concerned, Qualified Staff and Low ratio of Staff to Child
Nothing is as important to your childís day care experience as the presence of a caring, qualified staff of caregivers. The right kind of caregiver will devote as much time as necessary to ensure your child has a good experience every day he is at the center. Itís the quality of the staff that will ensure not only the success of the enterprise, but more importantly, the successful development of your precious child.
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