When you’re a working parent who needs to find the right daycare for your child, you may feel overwhelmed. There are many options that will help your child with development all the while giving them a safe space to socialize.
Daycare is used for many different reasons. Some parents may want to send their child to the right daycare to help strengthen their developmental skills to prepare for kindergarten, while others may simply want to provide their child with an outlet to make friends.
With the news covering lots of scary stories about daycares gone bad, it’s important that we take some steps to choose the right daycare for our child. This is going to be a place where your child can feel safe, happy, and have the ability to master some of the skills they need to transition to kindergarten.
What should I look for when choosing a daycare?
There are a few steps to take before you pick the right daycare for your child. There are many things you need to take into consideration before dropping your little one off at their first daycare. It’s important that you take a look at your selected child daycare for:
- A good reputation.
- Safety and sanitary standards.
- Schedule that fits your child.
- Teachers that seem to care and have good communication with parents.
- Licensing and/or accreditation information.
- A fun, friendly learning environment.
While you do need to evaluate the child daycare location for your parental standards and safety matters, it’s important to watch your child. This is a place that you want your child to feel comfortable. Pay attention to cues that show your child feels this space is great for them.
What do you do when your child hates daycare?
If your child seems sad, withdrawn and not interacting with anyone at daycare, then you may want to have a discussion to determine the root cause. This could be due to their personality, they may just be shy or nervous to approach new “friends”. This could be that the daycare isn’t a good fit for your child.
There are many reasons why a child hates daycare. Some of the reasons are normal separation anxiety and the inability to want any separation from their parents. Then there are going to be times when your child simply doesn’t feel comfortable at a daycare facility.
The best thing to do when your child hates daycare is to have a meeting with the daycare teachers to get their side of things. The teachers may have witnessed more than you during the daycare day with your child and be better able to work together to make this a happy space for your child.
Going to daycare for the first time will be scary and difficult for any child who’s grown accustomed to having their parents around every day. If your child is simply being stubborn or having separation anxiety you can practice some steps to help your child to transition to daycare without major stress:
- Develop a plan with the teachers at daycare for transition out of your arms into daycare each day.
- Remain calm but firm.
- Arrive early so that you don’t have to rush the goodbye.
- Start an activity with your child before you leave.
- Never sneak out and leave your child shocked when they find out that you’ve left without saying goodbye.
When your child hates daycare it’s not always a reflection of the daycare facility. If you’ve taken the time to get to know the daycare teachers, and researched the facility to find this is a reputable, caring daycare for children then you don’t have anything to worry about.
What questions should I ask a daycare provider?
Now that I’ve covered the basics of choosing the right daycare for your child and how to handle the transition or issues that may arise with your child, it’s time to share some of the questions you should ask a daycare provider. These questions are items that should be covered prior to choosing the perfect daycare for your child.
Ask the childcare center the following questions, before making a choice for which daycare your child will attend:
- Are you licensed and are your teachers accredited?
- What are your rates?
- What are your attendance policies? Sick days, summer vacation, etc.
- What are the disciplinary tacts practiced here?
- What does an average day look like at your daycare?
- What foods do you serve and when?
- Is there a scheduled nap time? Where would my child sleep?
- How do you communicate with parents regularly and during an emergency?
- Is there a learning plan in place to help with child development?
I’m sure you may have some of your own questions to ask the daycare provider, but the above questions will get the conversation started in the right direction. It’s important that both your child and you feel comfortable and confident that this is the right daycare. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions.
Most daycare providers understand that this is a huge decision for any parent and the right daycare will be patient and happily discuss all of your concerns with you.