Child care services are becoming more and more important in this day and age. You may be at that place in your life when you need child care services. You may need someone to watch your child as you go to work or due to other tasks that require your time. If you are going out to look for a child care center, there are several things to keep in mind and watch out for.
Identifying a center
Once you have made the decision to look for a care center for your child, it is important to start early so you have enough time to identify the most suitable place. If you rush the process, you may end up with very disappointing results. Start by getting recommendations from family and friends that have used child care centers and were satisfied with the services offered. You can also get recommendations from child care experts. You then need to do your homework to establish which center will be the best suited for you and your child.
The qualifications of the caregivers can tell you a lot about the quality of care you can expect from the center. The caregivers should have undergone specialized training in early childhood. Since there is continuous research in the area of early childhood development, it is important for caregivers to continually update their skills. Caregivers should therefore attend at least one training every year to update their knowledge and skills in child care.
Adult to child ratio
You need to find out the adult to child ratio in a potential child care center. Children need to be watched at all times, even during nap time. Each caregiver should only be in charge of a few children. A center that is offering good services will normally have one adult responsible for 3 to 4 infants, while four year olds can have a ratio of one adult to ten children.
You need to find out how long the caregivers have been working at the center. If there is a high rate of turnover, it could be that the caregivers are not well compensated or they do not work in a favorable environment. Your child should have the same caregiver for a period of at least one year.
If the caregivers are changed often, it will mean that the development of the child will be negatively impacted. This is because it will take time and energy for the child to adjust to the new caregiver, time which could have been used to enhance her development. A quality child care center will have very low turnover for caregivers.
Once you have visited the potential centers, you can make a comparison and select the one you feel will satisfy your needs. It does not end there, though. It is important as a parent to remain involved in the activities of the center by attending parent-teacher meetings. Be ready to volunteer your services whenever needed and drop in once in a while to see if your child is blending in well with other children.