Finding the right daycare center for your child may seem overwhelming – not only are you worried about them venturing out into new territory, you’re also probably wondering which daycare to send your little one to. Taking a daycare center tour is the best way to help you decide which daycare facility is right for you and your child.
Remember, the best preschool is not necessarily the closest or the cheapest one – it is the one that can show the best developmental opportunities for your child
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR DURING A DAYCARE CENTER TOUR
- The best advice by far is to be aware of your instincts – your instincts will always be one of the most powerful things you have as a parent, and if you get an off-vibe from the center as a whole, from the director of the facility or any of the staff members, stop and ask yourself why, what’s behind the bad feeling you get and if the answer to those questions can’t be answered or yield negative answers to yourself, its best to move on.
- Do you notice that the daycare is generally unclean, unsafe and not well looked-after? Try to look for signs below the surface, things that are not too obvious. For example, are there dishes in the sink and do they look like they’ve been standing there for a while, are the toys a bit dirty and worn out looking, is the place vacuumed or swept, or does it have a funny smell? Nothing can be perfect, but you can generally tell if a place is not taken care of. Make sure to also check for fire drill mechanisms like fire hydrants and emergency evacuation plans on the wall, ask if the caregivers have training in the event of choking, or if a child falls ill, or for any emergency that may take place. If you can’t get a straight confident answer or any solid proof like a step-by-step sheet at the least, it’s maybe not a facility to consider
- Try to go on more than one tour of the facility to see how the staff interact with the children – see if they are attentive and caring. One thing to pay attention to is if the staff interact with the children at their level – for example having circle time together on the floor, or sitting at the desks with the children. Do they interact with the children or do they simply teach from a distance?
- It’s not only the staff that can teach you about a daycare but the children also. How do they look, are they bored, unhappy, is their chaos in the room? Look at the toys and the games they play, as well as the pictures on the wall. Check if any of these are age appropriate and if they’re stimulating enough for the children.
- A daycare facility tour is also important as an opportunity to ask for references from previous parents or possible the contact information of current families so you can contact. Also, make sure to check their credentials – get their license number and look it up to make sure that it is valid and that they have no violations. Ask about what sort of nutritious meals and snacks they offer the children and if they have a preschool curriculum. these are all signs of a good facility.
Other things to consider are the employee turnover rates. If too many employees come and go too often, your child won’t get a fair chance to bond with them, which could hinder their opportunity to form a bond based on trust and familiarity. Also, if the child-to-caregiver ratio is unbalanced, the results can be just as negative – it also means your child won’t get the attention and care that they need to develop at their optimal best
A daycare center tour is an important step you should take in deciding where to enroll your child. At Providence Children’s Academy we pride ourselves in offering state of the art features that put us above and beyond other preschools in the Coconut Creek area. If you have any questions you are welcome to contact our preschool and take a tour of the facility, we would be delighted to meet you and your family in person.