Choosing a good daycare can feel like a daunting task. You want to ensure that it’s not only a positive experience for your child but it’s a clean and safe environment. The following information can help when searching for a good childcare facility in Aurora.
What You Should Look for When Choosing a Daycare
Devote enough time to search for the right facility. Ask for personal references from family, friends and co-workers. Make sure you visit each one, getting an opportunity to interview the director and/or caregiver who will be responsible for your child.
Licensed or Accredited
Make sure the daycare is licensed. Look for the state license, which the facility should prominently display. Although an accredited center doesn’t guarantee satisfaction, you can at least know the facility has met standards that go along with it. To learn if a daycare is accredited, check online with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC).
Ask about the center’s policy regarding discipline:
- Do they utilize time outs?
- Will the facility notify the parents of any problems?
- Do the facility’s philosophies fit with yours?
Not only should the daycare provide nutritious meals and snacks. But look for one that works with special dietary needs and uses caution when it comes to food allergies and ensures food quality by storing and preparing the food correctly.
Clean and Safe Environment
You can generally get a good feel about the cleanliness of a daycare when visiting. Are the caregivers wearing gloves when toileting or changing diapers? Is this area separate from where food is prepared? Are there sinks available for caregivers and children to wash their hands?
You should also feel free to ask questions. For instance, you may ask how often the toys are washed or policies regarding sick children staying home or being isolated from other children. Safety is another important issue both indoors and out.
Are there hazards inside the daycare facility, such as:
- uncovered electrical outlets;
- exposed electrical cords;
- access to cleaning materials; or
- access to medication?
Do the toys appear to be in good condition? Are there choking or strangulation hazards (small parts, strings, etc.)? Does the daycare have clearly-marked fire exits and is there a fire safety plan in place?
Outside, does the playground equipment appear to be in good condition? Is the outdoor area gated? Are the children adequately supervised?
Quality of Caregivers
Ask whether the caregivers are trained in first aid, CPR and early childhood development. Pay attention to how they interact with the children. Do they appear to enjoy their job? Does the center have a high staff turnover rate? Does the facility perform background checks on the caregivers? Are the child/caregiver ratios appropriate?
There are so many other issues that to consider when searching for a daycare. For instance, does the center allow parents to make unannounced visits? Does the staff answer the phone promptly? Do the caregivers make parents feel welcome? Most of the time, you will know if it’s a good fit. But even if you believe it is, ask if you can give it a trial run.
Of course, should you have the unfortunate experience and your child is injured, in some cases it could be due to the daycare facility’s negligence. In that case talk with an attorney to learn about your legal rights. D.J. Banovitz offers legal help for parents whose child was injured at daycare – contact us at 303-300-5060.