Babies need a lot of attention and finding the right daycare for yours can be challenging (and expensive). Here are some things you need to look for before you drop your sweet baby off.
1. Drop by unexpectedly. Ask if you can walk around for a few minutes and see how many staff are there. What are they doing? Are they on the ground playing with the children or are they on the phone? Where are the infants? Are they still strapped into their carseats? Are they being carried around by the caregivers? See how many infant toys there are. Is there a special area partitioned off for babies? Look around and see how clean the facility it is and how safe it would be for a crawling or toddling child. Are there small toys on the floor? Are the outlets covered?
2. Find out how often staff members leave. It is good for babies to have stable, predictable care. You want your baby to recognize their caregivers and to be comfortable around them. Do people tend to stay a year (or longer?) This also shows how great the daycare is to work for. A happy staff leads to happy children.
3. Find out the drop off and pick up procedures. First of all, find out how picky the staff is. Can just anyone pick up your child? What are their safety measures? Second, find out how long you can take. Will you have a chance to talk to someone for a few minutes? You will want to be able to discuss how your infant is feeling, eating, and sleeping before you drop them off. When you pick your baby up, do you have time to discuss how they acted during the day? You want to be a team with your infant’s caregivers. If you are rushed during these transition times it will be much harder to communicate.
4. Find out their sick child policies. While it is inconvenient to have to take work off for a sick child, you want to find a daycare that is particular about it. Do they require immunizations and regular check-ups, both for children and for staff? How sick does a child have to be to stay home? Will they send children home if they arrive sick?
5. Ask about child to caregiver ratios. If there are six babies or less, there should be a ratio of 1 to 3. If there are eight or more babies, the ratio should be one caregiver for every four children.
6. List your priorities. How far are you willing to drive? How much can you pay? What are the things that are the most important to you? You may have to compromise on a few things so decide which things you aren’t willing to negotiate on.
While thinking about infant child care can be daunting, you can find a great place if you follow these steps. Good luck!read more