Leaving your child with a child care facility for the first time can seem daunting. This is a huge decision, and with so many options out there, the process may feel overwhelming. Here are some tips on what you should do and what to look for.
Types of Child Care Facilities
A daycare facility is where you would drop your child off each day with other kids of different ages.
Traditional Day Care
These types of child care facilities provide care for kids of various ages in groups. They are operated in similar ways as a school and are state-licensed.
In-Home Child Care
An in-home day care facility is operated out of the provider’s home, and they will often provide care to children of their own at the same time. It’s important to be informed about Florida’s regulatory requirements prior to sending your child there.
Finding the Best Facility for Your Child
The following are recommendations for finding the best facility for your child:
Even though referrals from credible resources and other parents are critical, it’s best to stop by the daycare for yourself to see if it meets the needs of your child. While it’s obviously crucial for any child care facility to be kept clean and stocked full of supplies, there are other important aspects to consider. Whenever possible, try to visit the facilities at different times of the day to gain insights into what the routine is and how the staff interacts with the kids. Even after you have registered your child, you may still want to stop by a few times unannounced to get a glimpse of how things are going.
Trust Your Instincts
Parents tend to sense when something feels off. You may not be so happy with a facility that has glowing reviews, or you may bump heads with one of the recommended caregivers. When you feel like that, it’s time to keep looking until you have that peace of mind. Your child deserves to be in the best care possible. If something feels off, keep looking for other alternative options.
Do Some Research
It’s best to get recommendations from credible sources like your child’s pediatrician or from other parents. If you are not acquainted with other parents, consider asking parents you meet at the playground or in the pediatrician’s lobby area. You can also check with Florida’s regulatory agency or dive into some online resources.
What to Look For
The following are aspects to look for in child care:
An Environment That’s Stimulating
You should be looking for physical and verbal interaction between the caregivers and the kids. The kids should be engaged and not looking off into space. Additionally, age-appropriate toys should be in good shape and there should be an itinerary of daily activities such as reading, talking, singing, and dancing.
The Facility Must Be Clean
A daycare that is managed well should be kept clean and the staff should be practicing good hygiene.
A clean facility includes the following:
- Toys are washed off with a sanitizing solution.
- All kids and adults wash their hands when they enter the classroom.
- Feeding utensils are disposable or are washed in a dishwasher.
- All caregivers wash their hands after each diaper change.
- Bottled are prepped in clean and sanitary conditions.
- Food prep and diaper areas are separate and are cleaned after each use.
A child care facility must always provide a safe environment for the kids and safety precautions should be taken.
The following safety measures should be in place:
- Open stairways have gates.
- Upstairs windows have window guards.
- The floors are clear and not cluttered with toys.
- Clearly marked fire extinguishers and exits.
- The facility is free of choking hazards including toys that can break apart into small pieces.
- There is no fluffy bedding or pillows in cribs.
Child Care at Providence Children’s Academy
When choosing care options for your child, the facility should provide a clean, safe, and stimulating environment. Our staff at Providence Children’s Academy is committed to providing outstanding care to your child and would love to give you a tour of our facility. Call us at (954) 570-6914 to learn more about our quality preschool and daycare programs.