Things to Look for When Choosing a Childcare Provider

By: Thad Pryor

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.

To ensure your child is placed in one of the reputable, caring facilities rather than those of ill repute, you need to know the important things to look for before turning your child over to them..

State Licensing

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 it’s definitely something you want your childcare center to have firmly in their possession.

Age-Appropriate Toys

The recently released Toy Story 3 illustrated a key issue for today’s childcare providers-making sure that toys are age appropriate. That doesn’t just mean keeping the choking hazards out of the reach of the smaller ones. It also means ensuring that older children have toys and resources at their disposal that permit them to engage in interactive play and expand their own knowledge of the world around them.

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.

When the kids are home, they can go crazy and run amok in the backyard, appropriately dressed for the weather, of course. Even the best child care centers cannot send the kids outside to play or take them to the beach. The kids will spend the majority of their day indoors. That indoor environment must be spacious enough to let the kids run reasonably free and feel comfortable whether they are moving around or just sitting still. This space must also be equipped to be appropriate for each child’s age level.

Caring, Qualified Staff and a Low Staff-to-Child Ratio

Nothing is going to determine the quality of care your children receive at daycare like the quality of the people providing it. Caring caregives who have plenty of time to devote to your child are the true key to success and a motto that anyone who’s caring for your children should take to heart.

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