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Choosing Daycare

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Research indicates that a child's development depends largely on the experiences they have during their first few formative years. As a working parent selecting daycare for your child could be one of the most significant decisions that you will ever make.

Take the following into consideration when selecting a daycare for your child.

Visit several day care centers

Try to visit different day care programs before you make a final decision. You want a daycare that is suitable for both you and your child.

Contact each of the child care programs and set up an appointment. During the appointment request to sit in on a class/room and try to observe their activities for a few hours, verify the surroundings and pose any relevant questions you might have regarding their operations.

When there, gather information regarding some of these vital quality indicators:

The child to adult ratios

The lower the ratio the more care can be given to each individual child. You want your child to receive as much personal attention as possible and the younger the child is, the more vital this aspect becomes. Small babies require an adult-to-child ratio not higher than 1:4, while a 4-year-old requires a 1:10 ratio.

Number in each child group

Inquire as to the number of children in each group. The smaller the group, the better for your child. This is as important as the ratio. A group of four children being attended to by one person is more advantageous than a group of twelve children being attended to by three adults. The ratio remains the same, but the size of the group impacts on the care that can be given.

Training and experience of caregivers

Inquire about the caregiver's education and training. Those with special training or degrees will be better equipped to assist the child in their development. Are those caregivers doing activities that advance their skills? Are they attending workshops and refresher classes?

Rules and guidelines

If a daycare program follows set guidelines, they are more likely to be a healthy and safe place where your child can grow and receive the necessary support for their development. Inquire as to the rules and guidelines the daycare adheres to and whether they are subject to scrutiny from a governing body.

Start searching early

Start the search for the child day care center early as possible. Irrespective of the kind of day care you are contemplating, finding the correct option could take quite some time, so plan well and allocate sufficient time. Be diligent and thorough in your research.