Early Childhood Education and an emphasis on precious child day care have become the norm in many European and North American countries. If the thought of leaving your baby with someone else all day, every work day, makes you want to never leave your baby at all, you’re not alone. Especially if this is your first child, this is a big decision.
Even so, if you plan on going back to work, you’re in good company: Over 70 percent of primary caregivers work outside the home. There are also many excellent child care options, including nannies and babysitters.
The best option for you is day care, either in a group center or at home. There are many childcare centers that offer licensed, trained caregivers in an environment where your little one can socialize with other kids her age.
From the benefits and drawbacks of day care to questions to ask potential providers and what to look for when you visit a center, here’s what you need to know.
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Types of precious child day care facilities
Usually, parents leave their children at a precious child day care for a full day, along with other children of varying ages. The following options are available to you:
- Group day care:
The facilities are licensed by the state and are usually run in a manner similar to a school, with children of different ages cared for together. Many of them are run by employers themselves.
- In-home day care:
The provider runs her child care business from her home since she cares for her own children as well. Before sending your child to an in-home daycare center, make sure you find out about the state’s licensing requirements.
Benefits of precious child day care
Regular schedules and routines
In a daycare, children can learn about routines and schedules, even if they do not understand the concept of time. Children are exposed to a number of different fun and educational activities at daycare, such as singing and storytelling. Toddlers particularly need these activities for their intellectual development. Playing, eating, and napping at set times are important for a toddler’s development, as well as for parents at home.
Achieving academic success
Studies have shown that kids who attended high quality daycare as young children had better cognitive performance as teenagers. Daycare can help your children succeed in the future, according to these studies. Daycare settings that provide adequate support and opportunities to interact with peers and caregivers meet this recommendation.
Daycare teaches your child how to feel comfortable and confident around others. As a result, they may be able to meet new people throughout their lives. Practicing communication skills and building self-esteem at a young age helps kids learn fundamental interpersonal skills.
It is a great place for your child to learn how to communicate because a daycare environment includes children of different ages and stages. Children vary in their ability to speak verbally and non-verbally. In any case, it presents the perfect chance for your child to work on the communication skills they are having difficulty with.
Children who attend a quality daycare learn independence at a young age. There is a learning curve for children when they are in a daycare center without their parents or any other adult relatives. Only their teachers and themselves will be able to help them. It will be easy to teach them simple tasks and activities that will encourage independent practice such as putting on socks, organizing their toys, etc.
Play and socialization with other children their age are key features of a daycare. Work with others teaches them how to behave in a better way and helps them become better team players. While their personalities and minds develop, the children learn how to play, share, and learn well together.
How to choose a precious child day care
The search for a daycare may take a bit more time depending on where you live.
If you live in a large city, you might want to start looking at your options before your baby is born. Ideally, you should start looking at least two months before you plan to go back to work. The following are some steps you should take:
- Take the time to research
Find out from your pediatrician and other parents (at work and among your friends) if they have any recommendations. Consider asking families you encounter on the playground, in your pediatrician’s waiting room, or at your baby’s mommy-and-me class if you are unfamiliar with other parents. Alternatively, check with the state government or online services that offer childcare referrals.
- Interview centers
Telephoning day care providers and screen centers. Having inconvenient hours or staff who aren’t willing to help should be enough to discourage you from visiting the center.
- The center is open to the public
Check in person when you have narrowed down your choices to see if the property meets all your basic requirements. When in doubt, follow your gut instinct: If something doesn’t seem right to you, it probably isn’t right for your child, too.
- Refer to references
Get in touch with former and current clients and ask how they like their experience. You should avoid relying on glowing letters of recommendation supplied by providers.
- Drop by unannounced
It’s a good idea to make your final choice before you stop by on another day unexpectedly to get a better understanding of what it’s like when the staff isn’t prepared. You may want to cross off the center from your list if it does not allow unscheduled visits.
What to look for when visiting a daycare center
After screening your options, schedule a visit to three to five childcare facilities. You may even choose to have a child day care center in your home. Look for these features before enrolling your baby:
Staff and children are happy
In a spacious room with separate cribs, you should see babies awake, content and clean.
Children should be treated with energetic, patient, and genuine interest by their caregivers. You’ll get a better sense of the center if you arrive at the end of the day instead of in the morning.
The environment should be stimulating
Observe how kids and caregivers interact verbally and physically. Do the staff interact with kids on the floor? Are toys in good condition that are appropriate for the age group? Get an idea of the daily schedule that includes singing, talking, reading, and dancing and includes on-the-floor activities as well.
Grouping by age
It’s best not to mix babies under 12 months of age with toddlers or older children – bigger children can be rambunctious and haven’t yet learned to be gentle with babies.
It shouldn’t be permitted for your child to roam the day care center freely as she can at home. Additionally, only authorized adults and staff should be allowed to enter so that students can be picked up and dropped off.
By taking the same safety precautions that you take at home, you can ensure your children are in a safe environment at the day care. These include:
- A child should not have small toys and playthings that can break into small pieces or pose a choking hazard
- Babies should not sleep on their backs in cribs with pillows or fluffy bedding
- Gates on open staircases
- On upstairs windows, there are window guards
- An enclosed outdoor space and a kitchen and bathroom
- The floor should be free of toys (i.e., not littered).
- Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and clearly marked exits