If you’re the parent of a young child in 2018, one thing you’re probably not thinking about is what you’re going to do with all the extra time you have. Being a parent has never been more fast-paced and time-consuming, and parents are always looking for ways to lighten the workload while giving their child the very best opportunities possible.
Daycare has emerged as an important decision that can have tangible effects on the intellectual and social development of kids. The days when daycare was thought of as the simple need for supervision and safety are over. More and more parents are looking toward daycare as a legitimate precursor to primary school – and research has shown that the benefits of daycare can reach into secondary school and beyond. When children have really good daycare, they learn skills and habits that stay with them for years.
But none of this changes the fact that parents are busy. Making the right choice in terms of daycare isn’t always obvious – especially when parents don’t really know what to look for, or what questions to ask. Here are three important questions that more parents should be asking before they sign up for any particular daycare center.
1. How many staff for every child?
This is a hugely important question because it has a direct bearing on how much personal attention each child will receive. Three children for every one staff member is usually considered a very good ratio.
2. How are the days structured?
Children love to be spontaneous, but they also need a certain level of structure and guidance. How does your daycare center balance these two needs? This is an important question to ask.
3. How educated are the staff?
You wouldn’t entrust your child to just anyone – so how qualified are the individual staff members at the daycare center? Some facilities, such as children’s medical daycare center, employ staff who typically have graduate degrees in child education and related fields.
The perfect match for your child
You may not find a daycare center in your area that strikes you as perfect for your child (and your family) in every single way – but you should be able to get fairly close! There are a lot of different daycare providers out there, with varying levels of education and experience. Depending on your child’s unique needs and requirements, you might consider children’s medical daycare – this is a facility that has higher standards of education for its staff members, higher levels of professionalism and understanding when it comes to special needs, and a more comprehensive way of making things easier for parents (such as transportation help, on site nurses and dieticians, and other key statistics).
In short, spending more time on research is likely to pay off in the long term. Finding the right daycare center for your child is a process that may take a little work – but it truly pays dividends for your child, both socially and intellectually. It also gives priceless peace of mind to parents!