Quality childcare is important to parents, but not everyone knows what exactly to look for when they begin their hunt for a great childcare center for their family.
Here are 9 things that you can look for when you are touring different local daycare centers so you can find the right daycare center for your child!
9 Essential Elements of a Great Daycare Center
- Low Child-to-Teacher Ratios
Every state has certain requirements for the number of children to each teacher in a particular age-range classroom. This ensures adequate care for each child.
Having lower child-to-teacher ratios means there than state requirements means that there will be more teachers than required for a certain number of children, which will allow for even more individualized care.
- Small Class Sizes
Smaller class sizes also allow for teachers to give nurturing and individual care and attention to each child. Say state requirements say a one-year-old room should have 1 teacher to every 6 children, but a daycare center caps each one-year-old room at 4 children instead—this allows that teacher to care for each child even more because their attention is less divided.
- On-Going Training for Staff
Childcare staff are required to undergo yearly safety trainings, as well as be up to date on things like CPR Certifications. A great daycare center will be diligent to make sure these trainings and certifications never lapse and their staff is always fully trained.
- Experienced Director and Staff
Both the Daycare Director and staff should have childcare experience of some kind, whether that is years of caring for children or a degree in early childcare education of some kind.
- High Teacher Retention
A daycare center with high teacher retention is a bit of a unicorn in the childcare world, so if you find a center whose teachers have been there for the long term, that is an indicator of a very good childcare center.
- Healthy Teacher/Child Interactions
A good childcare teacher will be kind, caring, and personable. These qualities will spill over into their interactions with the kids in their class, creating a healthy and positive environment for the children.
- Higher Than Minimum Licensing Standards
A daycare center shouldn’t strive for the bare minimum when it comes to licensing standards. They should strive for excellence. Make sure you ask for health reports or other standard requirements and see how they meet them during your tours. Bare minimum should never be settled for.
- Age-Appropriate Activities
Each classroom should be an environment that engages the kids in it in age-appropriate activities that challenge them and help them grow. These can be crafts, games, toys, lessons, or reading time that caters to each age group’s learning abilities and understanding.
- Good Health & Safety Practices
Clean facilities and proper safety practices are essential for every childcare center. Having clean cooking facilities, proper training, and health and safety protocols are all important to creating a safe environment for children to thrive.
As you shop around for the right childcare center for your family, keep these 9 things in mind and find a center that checks off all of these boxes.