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Choosing a Daycare Center

Choosing a Daycare Center

Visit daycare facilities with an observant eye.

By FamilyTime

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Your child will spend many hours a day at the daycare center you are considering. Spend some time at a few before you apply and make sure you and your little one are comfortable.

The Physical Plant
Take a look around and decide if the atmosphere is right. Is the noise level appropriate and happy? Are the bulletin boards or walls colorful and decorated with children's artwork or other appropriate art? Is the lighting good?

The physical plant is important. While children don't mind out-of-style or mismatched furniture, everything should be clean and well cared for. Is there a fenced outdoor space for daily play? Is there room for both active play and quiet time? Are the classrooms clean and organized for creative play? Are there plenty of toys, art supplies, and books?

The Care
Are the children happy, active, and well supervised? Do caregivers talk patiently and cheerfully to them? Are they immediately receptive to the children's questions and comments? Do the teachers get down to eye level when addressing the kids? Do they seem to enjoy the youngsters?

Both childcare centers and in-home daycares should be licensed. This means they meet certain safety and health regulations; it does not guarantee a good daycare. If the license is not posted, ask the director why not. If there is no license or if it's been suspended, you might want to look elsewhere.

Nothing is irrevocable and you can always change centers or childcare options. But if you do your homework now, you will be reassured. Finding a good center where you feel your little one is lovingly cared for and treasured gives you enormous peace of mind.

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