How will you identify if the day-care centre where you are planning to send your child is a good one? Here are the priorities points to look for.
The need for day-care centres is increasing day by day so as the concern over the quality of its services. Deciding about a good quality day-care centre is one of the challenges faced by parents today. There are varieties of options available to parents but which one is a good, reliable and trustworthy centre is difficult to choose. Parents can ensure this by just OBSERVING the environment around- to understand the quality of care their child will receive in that centre. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), there are seven priority areas to look for when deciding on the good day care for your child .
1. Physical and Learning Environment– Presence of safe and stimulating environment which provides ample opportunities to your child for interesting interactions impacts child’s development specifically language development. Ask for provisions to ensure child’s safety in the centre which includes presence of verified security guards, first aid kit and trained staff. Besides, look for an availability of variety of clean, safe and age appropriate play and learning materials with adequate indoor and outdoor play space for your child.
2. Teachers– Staff with proper educational qualifications and adequate training about young children and early childhood development is necessary to promote children’s learning and development. Ask for minimum qualification of the teachers along with the frequency of training provided to them by the centre.
3. Curriculum– A well-planned curriculum provides a guide for teachers to plan their schedule keeping in mind developmental needs of children. Ask about the curriculum and how it addresses all aspects of child development. The curriculum should not focus on just one area of development.
4. Teacher-Child Ratio– If you see more than 10-20 young kids sitting together with only one teacher then you need to reconsider your decision as children are likely receiving inadequate care. Look for centre which has around 1:10 teacher-child ratio for below 3 years. Ask what the centre’s ratio is.
5. Health– Ask about health and hygiene policy of the centre regarding regular hand washing and routinely cleans and sanitizes all surfaces in the facility. Besides, look for their plan for responding to illness including how to decide whether a child needs to go home and how families will be notified.
6. Nutrition- Generally, day-care centres provide meals. However, looking at the quality and nutritious value of the meal provided by them is significant. Parents can ask them how they ensure balanced nutrition- is there any dietitian or is staff aware about the nutrition. Keep in mind that kitchen area should be separate and away from children. Ask for sample meal plans prepared by centre for their children as per their needs.
7. Teacher-Parent Meetings– A good relationship between parents and teachers helps ease parents’ minds and helps children begin a lifelong pursuit of learning. The more families and teachers communicate, the better they can provide for the child’s changing needs . Ask about how school involve parents in their process such as frequency of parent-teacher meeting or events planned for parents.
Together all these points can help parents to take their decisions on a good quality day-care centre.
Note:Picture taken from Pinterest