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Finding an appropriate and affordable child care center is often a challenge because of the many options available. The daycares centers available are in different places and have different prices with each option coming with its advantages and disadvantages. Parents ought to identify their priorities, research about the daycares available and interview the daycare management before settling on a daycare center for their child. Parents should first decide what they want and what they are looking for in a daycare center. Parents ought to research about the reputable daycare centers in their neighborhood. Parents should visit the daycare centers and interview the managers before settling on daycare.
Finding a Child Care
One of the choices parents have to make after having a baby involves choosing who will take care of the child especially when they are young. Some parents decide to look for a daycare center. Finding an appropriate and affordable child care center is often a challenge because of the many options available. According to Feldman (2015), the need for affordable and appropriate childcare options has been increased by the increase of women in the workforce to 71%. The daycares centers available are in different places and have different prices with each option coming with its advantages and disadvantages. It can be confusing for parents to sort through the many options and to locate the child care centers that fit their individual needs and are within their financial means. Parents ought to identify their priorities, research about the daycares available and interview the daycare management before settling on a daycare center for their child.
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Identifying one’s priorities is an essential step in choosing a child care center. Parents should first decide what they want and what they are looking for in a daycare center. Some will consider a daycare center that is near their place of work so that they can rush to the care center if need be. Others would prefer a daycare that is closer to their home for convenience. Some parents prefer daycares where their child is around many other children so that they can learn and play together. Others prefer daycares with just a few children so that the caregiver can give their child adequate attention. Parents also consider the kind of activities and programs their child would enjoy in a daycare. Whatever priority a family has, there are some daycare center options available (Feldman, 2015). Parents can start by noting down all the essential qualities of their ideal daycare center to help them in the process. Most parents look for a care center that provides a safe, educational and disciplined environment for their child while they are away. Parents are afraid of what effects child care centers would have on a child as they grow. However, studies have shown that with the right amount of care and love, day care centers can adequately substitute for parental care where necessary. It is essential that parents approach a daycare search as they would a job hunt. The search for a day care center should start early especially if one lives in a large city because the slots fill up very fast.
Secondly, parents ought to research about the reputable daycare centers in their neighborhood. Families can start by asking around about the most renowned day care centers from their friends, and family members as personal preferences are always the best. Also, one can consider asking experts especially the referral agencies about the local childcare centers as they know all the licensed centers and home daycares in the locality. Although choosing an accredited center isn’t everything, parents should consider accredited day care centers for their children. Most reputable daycare centers are inspected and licensed before they are allowed to accept children. Some agencies even require frequent inspections to inspect the day care centers to ensure that the set standards are met (Crowley, Jeon & Rosenthal, 2013). When researching about a daycare center, consider looking for a display of a license as most states and licensing bodies to require that daycare facilities display their permits either in the office or the reception. If a permit is not presented, a parent can consider asking the manager if the facility is accredited. If the manager is reluctant, the parent can consider asking the licensing body in the area. Also, parents should consider asking if the child care workers are certified. Many child care centers require that the workers be certified or take courses to enhance their skills (Crowley, Jeon & Rosenthal, 2013). First aid certification is a requirement for the child care workers; therefore, parents should consider asking if the certifications are up to date. Parents can also consider asking if the childcare workers have undergone criminal records check as per the local, state or federal regulations. Parents can also search online by visiting daycare center websites and browsing to check if the care centers meet their criteria. To find out how a particular daycare center rank, parents can read reviews on the center’s website to check other parent’s experiences.
Finally, parents should visit the daycare centers and interview the managers before settling on daycare. Before visiting the facility, one can consider asking a few preliminary questions over the phone concerning the cost and the age of children who are admitted to the facility. However, one cannot be able to gauge the quality of care offered at the center before visiting and meeting the manager and the childcare workers. Once a parent decides to visit a daycare center, they can consider asking the managers and caregivers questions ranging from fees, hours, and vacation schedules to childcare issues such as discipline, sleeping, and feeding. The parent can at this point ask for a day’s schedule of activities and programs. The parent should pay attention to how the managers and staff handle the questions. Also, the parent can consider asking about the child to caregiver ratio and also observe how the children are being treated in the facility. It is much easier to give adequate attention to fewer kids in a room. Again, strict safety guidelines must be followed. The Department of Health regulates things like medical care, sanitation and playground restrictions to ensure that children and the daycare workers are safe and health (Alberta Health Services, 2014).
In conclusion, choosing a daycare is a very personal decision. However, all parents want a clean, safe and warm facility for their children. There are many options available when choosing a daycare. Parents should be careful when selecting a daycare because the stay at a daycare affects the child during the developmental phase. Parents can consider several steps when choosing a daycare. They should first establish the qualities they want in a daycare. Also, they should research widely about the available daycares. Again, the parents should consider visiting the daycare centers and interviewing the directors before settling on one day center. Also, parents consider child care centers where the caregivers are skilled, well paid and happy with their jobs so that they can form strong and consistent relationships with children. It is essential for parents to choose the most appropriate day care center that fit their requirements.
- Alberta Health Services. (2014). Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care Facilities.
- Crowley, A. A., Jeon, S., & Rosenthal, M. S. (2013). Health and Safety of Child Care Centers: An Analysis of Licensing Specialists’ Reports of Routine, Unannounced Inspections. American Journal of Public Health, 103(10), e52–e58.
- Feldman, J. (2015). Daycare and early childhood education in the United States: Research roundup. Journalist’s Resource.