Tips For Choosing The Best Daycare For Your Child

Are you the parent of a young child? Are you thinking about going back to work but have no family to watch your kid while you're at work? Whether you have to go back to work or you simply want a few days off every now and then, it's not always easy to decide who you should have watching your child. A good daycare is a fine option for many parents. But it can be difficult to make a choice between several different daycare options. In order to help you make a decision, here are some things that you should do or that you should look for: 

Drop in unexpectedly: Some daycare centers will want you to make an appointment to be shown around. Instead, once you have confirmed that a location would be able to take your child, you and your child should drop in unannounced on one or more days. This will allow you to see what a daycare is really like, rather than what they want you to see. For a good daycare, the two will be the same. However, if it claims to have an educational focus but the kids are always watching cartoons instead, you may want to look for a different place to leave your child.

Play with the toys: While you and your child are touring the location, make a point to stop and to inspect or play with a few of the toys that the children get to use. As the parent of a young child, you undoubtedly know how easy it is for toy parts to get lost or broken, so a few toys with some missing or broken parts shouldn't be a huge concern. On the other hand, it is the daycare's responsibility to fix or replace broken toys whenever possible. If most of the toys are missing things, you may want to question why that is. Your child probably won't enjoy playing with broken toys, so you may want to look elsewhere for your kid.

Watch the rambunctious children: Even the most well-behaved child can have a bad day. Perhaps your child will get upset and throw a toy at another kid. Or perhaps another kid will push your child into the mud. Watch the most active children and how they interact with staff when a rule is broken. You'll want to make sure that the punishments are both age-appropriate and that fit the behavior in question. Yelling or making a child sit in time out for half an hour are usually not appropriate, but a calm explanation of the rule-breaking and a few minutes in a time-out chair are often sufficient to prevent repeats.

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