Ask any parent who has been through it: Sending your child off to daycare for the very first time can be a nerve-racking experience. Even if you’ve researched and chosen your daycare center very carefully, and you’ve already developed a good level of trust with the staff who will be looking after your child, you still have some trepidation about leaving your precious little one behind while you go off to work or school. Of course, things get better has time goes on. You see that your child is having a safe and productive experience at daycare everyday, and your level of trust grows – until taking your child to daycare becomes a routine pat of your day or week.
But it’s still good to know about the training and education of the staff at your child’s daycare center. Presence and reputation in the community are hugely important, of course, but you might also wonder what kind of education the staff have at your child’s daycare center.
And why shouldn’t you? After all, you’re leaving your child in the care of these professionals – maybe a few times a week, or maybe every single day. You need to be able to trust those professionals completely, and a strong academic background is one way to have more confidence in the abilities, knowledge, and character of the people who run your child’s daycare center.
Depending on where you live, it usually isn’t required that daycare staff have post-secondary education in order to work at the center. Licensing requirements can different between states and localities, but generally speaking, a high school diploma and sometimes a certification in early childhood education (ECE).
The most reputable daycare centers, however, tend to reach higher than the minimal requirements. Staff members are not hired flippantly, and college education (particularly in child-related fields) is highly desirable. It’s up to the daycare center to curate the kind of team they need in order to provide the level of professionalism and expertise they feel is appropriate.
There are certainly some wonderful daycare staff out there who don’t have graduate or even post-secondary education, and again – the license requirements can be different in different areas. Whatever the case, it’s a good thing that more daycare centers are now staffed (at least in part) by people with post-secondary education in child psychology, early education, and other related fields. Other important benefits of advanced daycare centers, such as children’s medical daycare, include dedicated nutritionists and trained medical professionals on staff.
It’s not all about education when it comes to daycare – certain people are just great with children, and take their jobs very seriously. Whatever the case, it’s never a bad idea to ask your daycare center about the levels of training and education of the various staff members. This is absolutely a fair question and daycare centers should expect it. They should also have no problem answering – and you might be surprised by how much training and dedication the professionals at your daycare center have.