As parents, all that we want is the best for our kids, even when it comes to childcare. A childcare center is more than a place that takes care of your little one while you’re away or at work. It’s a place that equips children with the tools that help them achieve success in the future. It’s where they learn about the fundamentals of academics, a sense of independence and essential social and emotional skills. Because early childcare is the beginning of a child’s learning adventure, it’s only imperative that you choose the best childcare center for your child.
Do childcare visit and compare
Referrals from other parents, friends and family are something you should consider. Try to look for a childcare center that meets your child’s and family’s needs by taking the time to tour centers recommended to you. Create a list of the items you deem important like location, class size, schedule, etc. Visit these centers at varying times of the day to get a better sense of the daily routine, activities, and so on. These visits can help confirm which center is right for your little one, so be sure to consider this step a priority.
Observe quality interactions
When visiting a childcare center, one of the most important things you should look into is the interaction between children and the staff. Observe how the educators interact with the children. In a child’s early years, they need to feel close and loving relationships. This means that caregivers should be giving lessons and kindly supporting the child’s independence as the children work on engaging learning activities. As the children learn and develop, these high quality interactions become more important than ever. The teachers and caregivers should be warm, loving and interactive because this is what the children need to thrive.
Find out what your child is learning
Look around to see what kids are learning in a particular childcare center. Is there evidence of quality learning experiences such as kids’ works of art and paintings posted in the hallway or classroom? Are the educators in a particular center able to make education fun and engaging for the children? What education and experience do the teachers have. Is there an emphasis on academics as well as art, music, and nature? How do the centers provide or share learning updates to parents and families?
Check the curriculum
The curriculum is what childcare center educators use to support the learning and development of the young kids under their care. Clear and detailed curriculum ensures that children learn in a way so they are equipped with the skills they need to succeed later in life. It is designed to make sure that kids get the support they need while they journey through reaching one milestone at a time.
Take time to investigate and learn about the curriculum of the center you’re looking at. What is their primary focus? Do they offer the kind of curriculum your child needs to be ready upon stepping into kindergarten? Do they offer annual conferences with parents? Will it help them transition into the next setting successfully?
Find a safe and welcoming center
A good quality childcare center is one that offers a warm and safe environment. Does the childcare center feel safe and welcoming upon your walking in? Check if the rooms are clean and organized. Are the playgrounds and outdoor area safe for children? Are educational and learning materials available within the child’s reach? Making sure that a center has a warm and friendly environment will help make the adjustment easier for your little one. It will ensure a happy and fun learning experience.
Check their existing policies
Choosing a childcare center that shares that same parenting philosophies you do is critical. Learn more about the center’s policies about health and nutrition, sleeping, outdoor playtime and so on. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions during your visit.
Trust your instincts
Does something feel off about one center you visited? If something doesn’t feel quite right, chances are you’re right. Don’t ignore your gut instincts when choosing a childcare center for your child. You, as a parent, know better than anyone else when it comes to deciding what will work best for them.
Picking the right childcare center for your little one can be a tough decision to make. With the help of these tips, you can find one that will fit your child best.
If you’re looking for a childcare center that prioritizes your child’s learning and independence in a engaging, safe and inspiring environment, please please visit Frederick Country Day Montessori School. Consider the Montessori approach to care and education for your child.