THE TOP 10 THINGS PARENTS SHOULD LOOK FOR IN A CHILD CARE CENTRE

There are many factors that make for a fabulous child care centre. Here are the top ten things parents should specifically look for when choosing a high-quality daycare for their child.

 

THE DIRECTOR’S EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

The centre director should be highly educated and have experience in the early childhood profession. Are they approachable? Would you feel comfortable raising a concern to this individual? Do they put you at ease?

 

HIGH QUALITY CHILD CARE PROFESSIONALS

A child care centre will only be as good as the educators who work in it. Investigate the qualifications of the child care educators. Is there a commitment to ongoing learning and development? Spend some time getting to know them, as these are the people who will directly be spending the most time with your child.

 

REPUTATION

When choosing a daycare program, it’s critical to research the program’s reputation. A positive recommendation by a friend or family member is usually one of the most reliable sources when investigating a program’s reputation. It’s also a good idea to check out the program’s reviews on multiple review sites such as Google and Facebook.

Licensing is another way to research a centre’s reputation. However, it’s important to note that government non-compliances differ in severity, and if a centre has a non-compliance, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are lacking in quality. It’s important to investigate what non-compliance(s) the centre specifically received. For instance, an administration non-compliance of emergency contact cards that are a couple months past due in being updated would not be as critical as something that may directly affect a child’s health or well-being.

 

SAFETY MEASURES

Your child’s safety should be of great importance to the centre. How does the program handle sign-in / sign-out procedures? How is access to the centre monitored? What’s the process for screening staff and volunteers before they begin working in the program? Do the staff have first aid training? Are cameras used to monitor the facility? There should be clear and specific policies for all safety measures within the program.

 

CAREGIVER-CHILD INTERACTIONS

Observe interactions between the caregivers and the children. Are the interactions caring and respectful? How does the caregiver manage a child’s frustration, anger, or sadness? You should be witnessing strong examples of emotion-coaching within the program.

 

CLEANLINESS & DESIGN OF PROGRAM

A clean, well thought-out space for children is important. The centre’s cleanliness directly affects the children’s health and well-being. Moreover, organized, well thought-out play spaces help children interact in more positive ways with one another and with the play materials.

Imagine yourself as a child. Would you enjoy spending hours in this environment? Is it comfortable and home-like? Or is it over-stimulating and overwhelming?

 

QUALITY AGE-APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES

Investigate the types of activities that are provided for the children. Are they age-appropriate? Will the activities encourage your child to learn and explore? There should be a variety of activities meeting various needs such as creative, exploratory, active, fine motor, etc.

 

PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY

A child care centre should have a clear program philosophy and a vision for the centre as a whole. Inquire about the program philosophy. Does the philosophy blend well with the vision and goals you have for your children? Is the philosophy supportive of families and their role in parenting their child?

 

HEALTHY FOODS

A quality child care program serves an assortment of healthy foods to the children. Take a look at the menu. Are the snacks and meals wholesome? Are daily nutritional needs met? How does the centre handle allergies, intolerances, and dietary restrictions? Keep in mind that the more foods that are made from scratch, the better.

 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

It is essential that children feel included and represented in the program. There should be tangible and visible examples of racial and cultural diversity. This should be evidenced in the books, play materials, artwork, staff, and/or other children in the classroom.

As you can see, there are a variety of key factors to investigate when choosing a child care program for your child. By investigating these key program elements, you can be more confident in choosing the perfect centre for your child and family.

 

 

Bambini Learning Group is a Reggio-inspired, holistic child care program located in Edmonton, Alberta. Their vision is to inspire families to live healthier, more meaningful lives. Through innovative, holistic, and supportive resources, Bambini is helping children live the authentic childhood they deserve. New locations coming soon! Contact Bambini for more information about their unique, holistic child care program at [email protected], or book a tour to see Bambini for yourself!

 

JENNIFER BLY

JENNIFER BLY is the Communications Consultant for Bambini Learning Group, a published author, and creator of The Deliberate Mom, a website full of parenting and homemaking inspiration. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the Early Childhood field. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.