Sending your young child to daycare gives them an opportunity to grow and learn how to function independently. They'll also learn important socialization skills that aids in better behavior as they age. Your little one might even end up getting less colds in their older years. And daycare should take a little stress off of your shoulders too. Following are a few things you can do to determine whether a prospective daycare center is right for you and your child's needs:
Schedule a Visit
Scheduling a consultation visit is the first thing that should be done when scouting out a prospective daycare center. This will give you and your little one an opportunity to get a feel for the atmosphere and gain an understanding in how education and fun are intermingled within the daycare's curriculum.
The visit should be long enough that you and your little one can play with the other kids, have lunch or a snack together, and experience some of the educational aspects of what the daycare has to offer. By the end of the day, you should both have a clear understanding of what to expect from the facility as a whole.
Collect Some Paperwork
While visiting the daycare center with your child, take the time to collect some paperwork that explains more about what the facility has to offer. In addition to a roster of daycare attendees, you should collect:
- A Menu Plan for at Least the Next Month—does the facility's nutrition protocols meet your personal ones at home?
- A Field Trip Itinerary for the Year—do the trips seem safe enough and will they expose your child to things you don't approve of?
- Programs for Planned In-house Events—are there plenty of fun events for your little one to participate in throughout the year?
- Nap and Play Time Schedules—do naps and play accommodations meet the needs and expectations of your child?
- Educational Itineraries—what will your little one learn during their time spent at the daycare center?
You can use the paperwork to compare services other daycare centers you're considering have to offer and to look back on when you want to confirm a piece of information.
Talk to Other Parents
Talking with other parents is another important step to take when considering a new daycare center for your little one. Ask the daycare facility to provide you with a list of names and phone numbers of parents who don't mind speaking with you about their experiences there. You can also just spend a little time chatting with parents who happen to be at the facility when you are visiting.
Other parents can give you insight into the way the daycare facility works and will provide you with specific complaints or praises that should be noted while making a decision about whether to enroll your child in the school. To learn more, visit resources like http://www.cottonwoodmontessorischools.com.
Do a Trial Run
If you think your child will do well at the daycare after visiting the facility, reviewing all the paperwork, and talking with other parents, consider signing them up for a trial run to ensure that the place is a good fit.
The trial period should last at least a week so you can visit a couple of times and see how your child is getting along in person, and so you can get an idea of how the school effects them at home. If everything goes well during the trial period, you can have peace of mind when committing to a long-term enrollment.
By following these steps, you should be able to easily determine if the daycare center you're considering sending your little one to is a good fit overall.