5 Must Haves for Your Baby's New Daycare
New parents have a colossal task – deciding what to do about daycare. A new child brings with it incredible new ways of living. Hopefully, you’ve had the chance to bond with your baby at home for several months. But sooner or later, most parents have to return to work. Then comes the question, “Who’s going to take care of my baby?” Some people have family in the area who are more than willing to help look after a child every now and then, but kids are a handful, and most people can’t rely on this method for a long-term solution. If you’re trying to pick out a new daycare for your child, here are five essentials to look for:
- Safety. What’s more essential than this? If you aren’t used to looking around daycare facilities, then read up so that you know what you’re looking for. Good daycares childproof everything. Some will go so far as to install soft flooring in key areas, so little ones learning to walk won’t fall on a hard surface. All hard or sharp edges are protected, and children will not have access to any place that isn’t actively observed by adults and totally safe for little ones. If a daycare center is using software like SkyChildCare, then you’ll feel secure knowing that drop offs and pickups are authorized by a unique PIN assigned to each guardian and each record is time stamped in a permanent audit trail.
- Qualified Staff. While there are regulations with which all daycare facilities are required to comply, the occasional unqualified daycare staffer has been known to slip through the cracks. Ask to see a daycare’s list of staffing certifications; good daycares will automatically do this and will make it very easy. With a tool like SkyChildCare, staffing information is easily recorded and accessible. It’s a mobile-friendly website and app used by the next generation daycare providers and for home-based daycares it’s free, so even a small at-home provider can use it. They’ll also be able to collect payments online, since there’s a low-cost tuition processing option built in. Any daycare you select should be professionally staffed and well-organized.
- Curriculum. You want your new daycare to offer a quality education to your kids, not just be a place for them to play while you’re at work. Ask to see the materials used in classroom settings to make sure it will benefit your child throughout their developmental stages.
- Atmosphere. This one is hard to pin down. Suffice to say, your child’s daycare center should “feel” like a safe, well-run and nurturing space for him or her to spend a lot of time. This may come to you as a vague impression, but even if you are unsure why, you should never let your child stay at a place that doesn’t leave you feeling confident. Don’t be afraid to say no thank you.
- Activity Levels. One of the best aspects of a good childcare is good activity levels and programming. Get a good sense of how much play your child will get, and what quality that play will have. You don’t want a place that has kids running wild all the time, but you don’t want them kept stifled and still the whole time either. Stimulating play can help kids burn energy, socialize, and learn about the world around them. Children’s love of learning often starts with the kind of play they do at daycare.
There are many important considerations to make when selecting a daycare, but any childcare service which performs well on these counts will likely be a great place for your kids. We hope you find the perfect daycare for your baby.