No matter how much you love your work, putting your little one in a daycare is difficult. Finding a good one is no picnic either. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell which one is more difficult.
By knowing which questions to ask daycare, you can put your mind at ease. It’s a crucial part of the vetting process. The daycares will know you mean business, and that your child’s safety is paramount to you.
You should begin the process ASAP, according to Child Care Aware. Finding a center that provides a safe space for your child’s development, offers them the opportunities you want for them, and fits your family may take some time. Best be prepared.
Once the touring starts, you might find yourself swept up in all the presentations and forget what things you wanted for your kid in the first place. To prevent that, write a list of all the major things you want your child to have in the center and all the potential concerns you might have.
You still might not be sure what to ask daycare. If you are a first-time parent, it’s only natural to be clueless about such a thing. Here are some suggestions:
1. What’s Your Sick Child Policy?
This is undoubtedly one of the most critical daycare questions. It’s actually a two-part question. You’d want to find out whether the center accepts sick children and to learn about all of their policies regarding the topic. Some questions to ask a daycare provider surrounding these issues are:
Are runny noses and coughs considered an illness? Will kids be allowed in the center as long as they do not have a fever? If my kiddo is sick and can’t come, will I be charged for the missed day (days)? Do I have to call in to inform you that my kid will not be coming?
2. What Supplies Should I Provide?
Some daycares provide formula, wipes, diapers, and diaper creams while others don’t have any supplies of their own. It can make a big difference when it comes to the price of the service. Spending a few bucks more on a better-equipped provider may end up saving you money in the long run if you don’t have to bring in your own supplies.
3. How Do You Discipline Children?
Quite important, right? You will want to know whether your child is disciplined by having to miss out on certain activities, with a timeout, etc. Check if they have a reward system for good behavior, like a color chart. Ask if they’ll use any of your own techniques if requested.
4. Do You Administer Medication?
One of the most essential questions to ask day care centers. If your kid is prescribed antibiotics and allowed to go back to the center, you do want to know whether the child care providers in the center will administer medication.
What if your little one starts complaining of a stomachache or headache. Will the provider administer the medicine until you can get there? What happens if your kiddo has to take certain medication every day?
5. What’s the schedule?
Every center has its own way of doing this. Some are more structured than others. Before you enroll your child into a certain daycare, you’ll want to know if their schedule is compatible with your family’s.
6. Are the Kids Supervised At All Times?
Remember that there are no silly daycare questions, even though this sure does sound like one. Nevertheless, it’s very important!
You want to make sure that even nap times are supervised. Check if there will always be at least one caregiver in the room with the kids.
7. How Qualified Are the Employees?
How long have they been working there? Have they been there for a few years, or are they still on probation? If they are qualified, do they have proper degrees in child care?
Anyone can get an online certificate in a matter of days, so make sure to check what’s the worth of their degree. Undoubtedly, you want someone with a lot of experience to take care of your little one.
Ask if the employees are trained in first aid. That covers everything from treating bumps or cuts to CPR.
8. Will There Be Any Field Trips?
Including even smaller outings, like walks in the neighborhood or the local park. In case there will be, you’ll want to know what the transportation rules are. Check whether you’ll have to sign a permission and provide a car seat.
9. What Happens in Case of Emergencies?
Who do they first call? 911 or the parents? In case you are unavailable, will they try to get in touch more than once? Will they accept your emergency contacts?
10. What about Vaccination?
Does your child have to be up to date on their vaccines? This is crucial if your little one is still quite young and wasn’t vaccinated many times yet.
11. Are you Licensed?
Every state has its own laws regarding kindergartens and daycares. Be sure to look into what it takes for a daycare to get licensed in your state.
Some states are laxer than others when it comes to these regulations. The center might meet state requirements, but yours might be stricter.
12. What Will My Kid Eat?
This is of great importance. If your child has food allergies, will they provide meals for their dietary restrictions?
If you are super keen on healthy food or your family is vegan, see if they offer a meal plan that will fit your child’s needs. It might be more cost-efficient in the long run to find a center that will meet your requirements, thank pack luck and snacks every day. On the other hand, there’s no better way of making sure your child will eat the food that’s best for them than by preparing their meals yourself.
Each child is unique, and each family has its own needs. In addition to the universal questions to ask a daycare that are important for every family with a small kid, make sure to think of what’s really important for your own family, something that might be a bit out of the ordinary. A good child care provider will go out of their way to meet your needs.