It’s a big decision for Moms and Dads. We’re talking about daycare. How do you choose the right one — the best one — for your child? It can be a stressful thing knowing you are leaving your little one in someone else’s care.
Research tells us that our children’s healthy development depends on safe and positive experiences early on. So, choosing a daycare may just be one of the most important decisions you ever make for your child.
Experts tell us the first thing to do on the road to picking a daycare is to make a list. Talk to friends, family, other people with children and find out what daycares they like. That can be a good place to start. But, don’t feel that you have to pick one of those, it may not be the right choice for your family. To get started, look at what times the daycares open and close, and what days are they open. That can help narrow things down depending on what you need. Then.. go visit!
Lynn Knighton is the Publisher of Mobile Bay Parents and Eastern Shore Parents magazines. She’s also a Mom! She tells us to really look at the environment.
“Is it a happy place? Does it look like somewhere you would want your children to be? Is it joyful? Are the children smiling? Are the teachers smiling? Do they look like they are enjoying their work? That is a big clue,” Lynn say.
And, that’s just the start of the questions! Experts also remind us to get all the details. Some things to think about:
- What are the ratios of children to adults?
- Are the children supervised even when they’re napping?
- What’s the discipline policy?
- Can you visit unannounced?
- If you’re nursing, can you come to feed your baby during your lunch hour?
- What’s the turnover?
And, one of the biggest things to consider is your gut! Does it feel right to you? That’s a big deal! Do YOU feel comfortable there? Would you feel comfortable talking to the staff about problems or changes or your baby’s routine and schedule?
Lots to consider, for sure! But, this really is a big decision. There are lots of wonderful daycare facilities here in our area, the key is find the one that works best for your family.
To get started, here’s a checklist full of details to consider.
For more with Lynn, click here.