Pinpointing a daycare that fits your needs the most can be a stressful experience, especially if you’re unsure of where to start. Search engine searches can lead you down a rabbit hole filled with weird, sometimes even horrifying, experiences from other parents and guardians. In recent years it seems there has been an influx of these horror tales coming out of daycare facilities. However, let’s not forget there are daycare centers filled with staff that love what they do and will treat your children with the respect they deserve.
Below, we’ve created a roadmap to navigating the world of daycare. You’ll find helpful tools and resources fit for first-time and current parents and guardians alike. Our goal is to help make this process as stress-free as possible.
Ask Important Questions
First and foremost, there’s no such thing as “too many” questions when it comes to the safety and security of your child. A trained, seasoned caregiver will likely be used to being interviewed and should have no problem answering any questions you may have. Sample questions should include:
- “What activities do the children participate in that you feel leave a lasting impact on their development?”
- “Working with children can be stressful and lead to frustration, how do you maintain a positive disposition towards the children when you are irritated or overwhelmed?”
- “Tell me about a time when you had to have a hard conversation with a parent of a child in your care.”
The more you ask, the more you know. By asking the right questions, the likelihood of you finding the best care center for your child drastically increases. Another thing you might not have realized is if you come into a caregiving situation ready to ask questions, you are more likely to feel comfortable with your daycare provider.
See also Daycare 101.
Keep An Open Dialogue
Just as you expect your childcare provider to be willing to answer your questions, you need to be willing to provide them with the most pertinent information they need to care for your child the best they can. This extends beyond the initial touring of the facility. When dropping them off in the morning, you’ll want to let the staff know how their day is going so far. Include any information on changes in mood, sleep patterns and whether or not they ate before coming into the center. Similarly, be sure to ask for any relevant information at pick-up (did they have any accidents, how their behavior was, etc). Your caregivers should know they are getting the most up-to-date information from you every day.
Watch the Staff
On tours, you’ll want to keep a close eye on how the staff interacts with the children. A facility can have all the bells and whistles and still not be the best fit for the little one in your life. Make note of the interactions you witness: are staff members keeping an eye on their groups? Are infants getting enough close interactive relationships with adults? The best way to truly see how the staff interacts with their assigned groups is to show up unannounced after your first tour. This will give you candid insight into the daily functioning of your potential daycare. Again, make note of staff interactions and compare them to the first time you visited. Are there any big differences? Is the center as clean as it was the first time?
See also How to Choose.
Let Us Help
Now that you have a good idea of how to go about your search, let us give you a starting point of daycare centers we approve of. Our experts in caregiving have created a list of the 10 Best Daycares in Katy, TX for anyone looking for respected recommendations for daycare centers.
You can now be at ease when visiting one or all of the listed facilities. Remember, you have the final say when it comes to choosing the best daycare provider for your child. Trust your instincts and everything will be all right.