Choosing the right childcare facility for your infant or young child can seem overwhelming. As a parent, you will want to ensure that your child is safe and happy in a childcare environment that is educational, fun, and nurturing.
Approximately 70% of parents place their child in some type of daily care facility. You should follow some specific guidelines to ensure receiving quality, professional daycare.
Most important is to know your own child’s temperament, likes and dislikes, health, interests, and behavior. For a baby under 1 year old, give careful attention to your child’s need to be nurtured and held, any special health needs, and the type of person you want to care for your little one during the first year of life.
For an older child, developing play and learning styles, interaction with other kids, intellectual curiosity, and need for individualized attention should be considered. Spend time talking with your child about preschool even before it starts. Prior to the start of preschool introduce your child to activities that might take place in a classroom. A child accustomed to drawing with paper and crayons at home, for example, will find it comforting to discover the same crayons and paper in his or her preschool classroom.
Your family’s own values and emotional needs also come into play. Some parents are overly anxious about leaving a very young child with one person, while others prefer individual care. But by age 3 or 4, it’s good for kids to have at least some exposure to other kids and be in a structured program like the Over the Rainbow Child Development Center preschool or daycare.
Before choosing a Childcare facility, find out which options are available and consider cost, location, staff, and reputation.