Selecting appropriate childcare for a young child or infant can be an overwhelming task that is as difficult is choosing a university or college for your teenager. However, ensuring the safety and happiness of your child in a day care environment is your responsibility. It should provide education, fun, nurturing and above all, safety.
Families with Children
Nearly 70 percent of all families will place young children in some form of day care. Whether you select a preschool, center-based facility, or in-home care, there are specific guidelines you can use to ensure your child receives professional, quality care. Over and above selecting the best location at an affordable cost is the reputation of the facility or childcare service, and one that has an appropriate license for the services they provide.
Regulated Day Care
Day care service providers in the state must be properly licensed. Routinely inspected facilities ensure that the health and safety regulations by the government are being followed. This is true whether the day care operator provide services in a commercial facility, or in a home.
Choosing residential day care in a local neighborhood might be an extremely affordable solution when adding the convenience of locale. However, it is not always the safest option. This is because many day care operators are:
- Have not received proper professional training
- Are not regulated by the state
- Are not forced to follow specific safety standards
Selecting a licensed day care operator offers more peace of mind when seeking out a safe environment day care service for the child. There are effective guidelines to follow when looking for a quality, reputable, licensed day care service provider. These include:
- Ask to See the License – While the expense of sending the child to a licensed day care facility might be more costly, it is the most important step you can take for ensuring the child is in a safe, regulated environment. It is imperative to ask to see the operator’s license from the owner or management staff and obtain a copy for your files.
- Health and Safety Inspections – While viewing a copy of the operator’s license, ask to see a copy of their current health and safety inspection report that they are required to keep on hand. If any questions arise, check with the community health and safety office to have any additional questions answered.
- Inspect the Facility – Take all the necessary time to inspect the facility or licensed residential day care home thoroughly. As the parent of a child that will spend time at the facility, you have the responsibility to point out anything that looks unsafe to the management or staff. Ask about any animals or pets at the facility, and take all the necessary time to meet every staff member. This may require multiple visits to the center or residential day care home at different times during the week.
- Meet Other Parents – Get familiar with the parents of children that will be spending time with your child at the facility. Ask if any issues at the facility have arisen, and check each one out on your own. Even if there are no issues, ensure the facility has the ability to accommodate your child’s specific needs.
- Choosing Childcare – Once the day care facility has been chosen, it is essential to visit often. Maintain open rapport with staff, and be sure every responsible member has your contact numbers. If the child can communicate effectively, ask them specific questions about their day care facility. Any change in the child’s behavior requires immediate investigation.
Take the time to reassure yourself that you have left your child in the best possible care of others, and that your choice works well for the family. Frequent on-site visits and daily reports concerning the child’s care helps the family keep track of the child’s progress. Gathering as much information as possible about the facility reassures the family that the child is having fun in a nurturing environment.
Learn more about injuries arising at day care facilities here.