Leaving children at a childcare centre often leaves parents with mixed feelings. Their worry for children simply does not end. Childcare centres become necessary when both parents are required to work. But that does not mean that they can leave their child to just any childcare centre. Parents looking for childcare center for the first time want to ensure they are making the right choice for their little one so they can work with complete ease on their mind. So how to know whether the childcare centre is trustworthy and reliable?
Look out for these 10 things when searching for a childcare centre. These will rule out the bad childcare centre and help you entrust at the right place.
- Poor reputation
Start your investigation for the ideal childcare center by asking for feedback and opinions. You may also look for reviews to determine if the place is of any good. However, if the general consensus says the place is of no good, it probably is a red flag that you should watch out for. Do a little more research to understand the reputation and credentials of the centre.
- Your child dislikes the place
Your child is probably the best person to find out if the childcare centre is the right fit. It is common for toddlers to experience separation anxiety. Still, if you see that your child is making a big fuss about not going to school every other day, crying when you are going to pick him/her up after school, and being verbal about not liking the school, you should focus on finding the root of the problem.
- Check the environment
Observe everything about the surroundings of the childcare centre, right from its smell to its sounds. You will be able to tell the kind of care your child is expected to receive and the kind of people your child will be interacting with on a daily basis. Check the premises to ensure it is safe for your children. Do not hesitate to ask about anything. You may also discuss with them about how they chooses age-appropriate activities.
- Lack of cleanliness and poor hygiene
Cleanliness is one of the most important factors when checking the right childcare centre for your child. Do the toys seem sticky to touch? Do you find the playground covered in a thick layer of dirt or mold? Check the bathroom to see if it smells bad or if proper hygiene is not maintained. Check shelves and desks to see if there is any excessive dust. These are all clear indicators that a standard cleaning is not maintained, and the centre requires leveling up its hygiene.
When the place is unkept and dirty, it can spread germs so be very mindful when you are checking. An unhygienic place indicates that childcare centre is not following Infection Control Guidelines for Schools and Child Care Centes set by the Ministry of Health.
- No clear curriculum
If you cannot make head or tail of what is being taught to your child or what the core curriculum includes, then it is another warning sign that you should look out for. You obviously would not want to send your kid to a school where there are no clear learning goals or lacks clarity on what children should be doing on a daily basis.
As per the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), child care license is provided to centres not just for meeting requirements on health, nutrition, physical environment, staff nutrition, and administration but also for programm and curriculum.
- Lack of manpower
You cannot expect one person to be enough for taking care of all the needs of your child. If you find the cleaner of the centre is also playing the role of cook and bus driver, then it probably is not an ideal option for your child. So make sure to find out if the centre does not have a shortage of staff and the teachers there do not look overworked or exhausted. This is because you obviously do not want your child under the care of someone who is too frazzled or burnt out to function properly.
- Lack of communication
As a parent, it is impossible not to worry about your children and now to wonder what they are up to when they are in preschool. It is crucial that the centre actively communicates whenever a parent calls them to want to know about something. Effective communication must be between parents and the centre. They should maintain honesty whenever any problems arise. Parents should not face any kind of problem when trying to get in touch with the school or scheduling an appointment with the bibliography generator teacher or principal for whatever concerns they might have.
- Childcare staff with attitude problems
Taking care of young children is not an easy job, but that does not mean they can pour over your frustration on the little ones. If you find the staff members giving you cold stares, snappy remarks, handling a child roughly, or scolding them with a look of content, they are all a sign of a bad childcare centre. The staff should be warm and caring towards the little ones. But instead, if they are found bullying or abusing their students, stay away from such childcare centres. Also, check whether the staff members have got any kind of certificates or training in working with children.
- Poor nutrition planning
Parents expect the childcare centre to feed their children with proper nutritious food in their absence. These centres should have a precise nutrition plan for serving them during the day. Parents should be aware of their meal plan to ensure they receive proper food when they are not around. It’s best to avoid childcare centers that do not have proper nutrition planning.
- Safety concerns
As you go for a tour of the centre, watch out for safety issues that might threaten small children. Electric outlets must not be exposed to toxic materials and cleaning supplies should be out of the reach of children. A clear route for fire exit should be presented, and the toys used by the childcare centre must be age-appropriate. There should not be any kind of sharp broken parts lying on the space. A good childcare centre is expected to be equipped with proper emergency kit on standby. The members must have a list of emergency contacts to ensure all safety measures are implemented as recommended by the ECDA.
Parents have every right to check properly if the childcare centre is appropriate for the children where they will be spending their entire day. Proper research should be done to help their overall development. Your child’s safety and welfare are valuable, so one should not be scared to ask around and inspect properly to find the right childcare centre for the child.
AUTHOR BIO: Mason Taylor is a child care specialist who is engaged at one of the popular preschools in the UK. She is also associated with assignment writer website, where she offers mathematics assignment help solutions to primary students.