In this article we are going to discuss 10 things that you should definitely expect from a daycare center that is providing care for your child while you're at work.
Child care centers are not clones. Each one will have different things available to the child depending on the budget the center has. Some will have many activities and others will have very few. But there are 10 things you should expect from any child care center no matter what their operating budget is.
1. Open Access To Their Center - Parents must be able to call on or walk in on a daycare center at any time unannounced. The provider should also allow the parent to make any amount of reasonable phone calls in order to check up on their child. The provider and the parent should work out a schedule for those phone calls to find out the times that are best and also agree on how many phone calls in a day are reasonable.
2. Safety For Your Child - The daycare center where your child is staying should be in a safe environment. All possible precautions should be taken to make sure that your child is safe such as, plugging electrical sockets, keeping knives and sharp objects in a safe place and out of reach, closing off stairways and using only safe and well maintained equipment. If your child has to travel, the provider should also use safety seats and seat belts when traveling.
3. Honesty And Confidence - Providers should not promise things that they can't do. They should be honest about the care that will be given. Also, there should be confidentiality about your child even being there. Nobody should be given any information about your child if strangers should call unless you specifically say it's okay.
4. Acceptance Of Parent's Wishes - Centers should make every effort to comply with the wishes of the parents such as the food the child will eat, activities the child will or won't participate in and any special care that needs to be given to the child. If the parents don't want people smoking around their child then the environment should be kept smoke free.
5. Advance Notice Of Any Changes - The center should give the parents plenty of advance notice of any changes that are going to take place that may affect the care of the child. This way the parents can make plans to have the child moved to another center if they are not happy with the proposed changes.
6. No Interference In The Child's Family - The child care provider should not talk to the child about any problems the parents may or may not be having. It is not for the child care provider to meddle in the lives of the family. The first and only responsibility is to care for the child.
7. No Advice Offered And No Judging Of Parenting Practices - If a child care provider does not agree with some of the parent's methods of raising their child it is none of their business. They are only to offer advice if asked.
8. Assurance That Everyone In Contact With Child Is Trustworthy - If it is a large center and there are many people there then each one should be certified to be trustworthy and safe. A center should take all reasonable precautions when hiring staff and should provide the parents with information on how workers are hired and what screening process everyone goes through.
9. Open Communication - The provider should keep the parents constantly posted of any instances at the center that they should be aware of including the child's progress or lack of progress. The parents should be kept in the loop regarding all activities the child participates in and those the child has problems with. It should be as if the parent is right there observing.
10. Finally, No Surprises - This means that the provider should not suddenly tell you that they have taken a part time job elsewhere and their teenage daughter will now watch the child. Or if at a center you don't want to hear that your child's teacher suddenly disappeared with no reason given.
If you are confident about all 10 of these items than more likely than not you have found a child care provider that you can feel confident in.