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Every mom has at some point considered taking their baby to a daycare facility, especially in this age of unreliable house managers. The question is, what should you look out for when trying to identify a good daycare centre for your baby?
What are people saying about the daycare that attracts you? Don't rely solely on online reviews, but also get opinions from people around you. If you can, go and visit the daycare to see if the pictures you see online and in the fliers portray the actual situation at the daycare. Let the owner give you a complete guided tour!
Daycare centres take in little ones of all ages, some as young as six months. The staff at the facility must, therefore, be qualified to take care of children of all ages. As such, the ratio of daycare staff to children must be favourable, so that each child gets the attention they need. One person caring for 10 to 20 babies will not do a good job.
Okay – all kids love chips, right? If your local daycare serves chips more than once a week, however, please look for another one. Ask to look at the daily menu and see if the meals are balanced and interesting. You can also find out what arrangements are made for kids who aren't fans of food, and if the staff are willing to be patient with them.
I believe that a daycare centre should be as clean, or even cleaner than my home. It is very easy for infections to spread when there are several children in one place, hence the need for high standards of hygiene. Remember, most of the kids in daycare are not potty trained, and messes are inevitable. A tip for moms – if the smell of urine is the first thing that hits you when you enter the daycare facility, make a u-turn!
All kinds of accidents take place where there is a concentration of babies. The management of the daycare facility should, therefore, make sure that the whole area is baby proofed. There should be no loose wires, dripping taps, sharp objects, cracked tiles, etc. The children should be supervised at all times, and the kitchen should be out of bounds.
The daycare centre of your choice should be so organized that you feel like they are running your life, not the other way round. Ground rules on hours of operation, communication, meal times and pick up times should be clear from the beginning. Think about it – if the daycare is not run in an efficient manner, how will they take good care of your child?
7. Open-door policy
On the first day, after dropping off your child, you will most likely want to pop in after an hour to see how he or she is doing. The daycare management should understand this, and let you in whenever you need to see your baby. Also, if you want to take your child home early, they should let you do so.
This video summarizes all the above qualities.
Lastly, don't be afraid to be fussy as you look for a daycare. After all, that is where you will leave your precious baby for several hours!