Identifying the best daycare center for your children is one of the biggest decisions that you will have to make as a parent. It is not just about finding a daycare center that is close to home, or open at the right hours. It is about finding the fit that is right for your child.
Family Day Care Centers
The early years are so important to a child’s development. These are the years they spend building social skills, understanding how student-teacher dynamics work, and being able to regulate their emotions. The impact of high versus low-quality daycare can be huge for a child, especially if both their parents are working most weekdays.
A family day care center is a location where parents will drop off their kids in the morning, and pick them up when they are done with work. The hours for a day care center are very similar to pre-school and early schooling. The schedule will be less focused on education, and more focused on children bonding with each other and enjoying themselves.
Finding the Best Day Care Center
1. Identify Priorities
What do you want out of a daycare? Are you satisfied with a decent location that is right next to where you work? Or are you more concerned with the quality of the day care employees, the ratio of adults to children, and reviews from other parents? Identify the priorities that mean the most to you in your search for an ideal day care location, and then begin your search.
It is easy to use the internet to get a list of all the reputable daycare locations in your area. You can widen the search to include the entire city if you are after quality. Or you can stick to a few zip codes, or look at a map, to ensure you find ones that are closest to where you live or work.
Another aspect of research is getting real reviews from people you can trust. Talk with your friends who are parents, speak with colleagues at work, get information from family members who are raising children in the area, and collect all that data. Now you should have some idea about the top three or four-day care centers in the area, based on the number of great recommendations you got for each place.
3. In-Person Visits
You can hear all the accolades you want about a day care center, but it has to feel right to you. Make sure that you are spending time at each of the places in your top three or top five list of day care centers. Do not try and visit them all in the same day, as you will end up rushing through each visit.
Spend time with those who are in charge, see the adults and children in action, and get a feel for the place. Think about how your child would fit into such an environment. And then go with your gut instinct, as it will never guide you wrong when it comes to your child!