6 Tips to Help You Find the Best Daycare Centre

October 28, 2021

If you’re leaving your child at a daycare centre for the first time, you may be nervous about finding the right one. There are many good options out there, but it’s understandable if this, ironically, isn’t good enough. Here are six very important tips to help you find the best daycare centre for your precious little ones.

Safety

Private home daycare is always an option. However, it is imperative that the daycare operators have the proper registration and certificates to certify that they are legally registered. When inspecting a home daycare centre, be sure to ask about safety procedures, health-related certificates, and food preparation precautions. 

In addition, check to see if the daycare has any prior safety violations. If they do, you may want to have an interview and discuss how the violations were dealt with and what preventative measures have been put in place. This will make you feel more comfortable knowing your children are in good hands. By following set standards, home daycare centres ensure that your children will be safe and happy in their care.

Structure

Although private in-home daycares are very popular, daycare centres tend to be more structured as they usually run programs with a schedule and many different activities. These are designed to enhance gross motor skills, social skills, and cognitive abilities through age-appropriate activities. 

Such programs tend to be larger with children divided into groups, each of which is managed by an experienced and fully certified staff member.This means that your child has the opportunity to make friends with students their own age at their actual school, all while being supervised by multiple adults. 

Home daycares tend to only have one staff member to look after all of the children, which can cause problems as they may not be getting the attention they need. Daycare centres are structured with supply staff, regular employees, and management, all of whom are typically fully trained and certified with an Early Childhood Education diploma. They are also accountable to the school board which runs their program.  

Affordability

Because of stricter rules, full certification requirements and programs, daycare centres tend to be more expensive than private daycares. Even though this is the case, they offer many methods of payment and will provide tax receipts. Private home daycares have lower rates but are mainly cash only, which means they will not be able to provide you with a receipt for income tax purposes.

Often, the extra price for a daycare centre is well worth the added investment; services of a reputable and experienced team of staff can come in handy since the children reap the rewards. For instance, many programs offer catering to preschool children, though staff members will also purchase groceries using the daycare budget for older age groups. In addition, that money goes towards a wider array of toys including puzzles and outdoor sports equipment. Furthermore, the added income covers enrichment and activities such as having magicians, dance instructors, and zookeepers visit the program. 

Waiting Lists

Daycare centres in general can sometimes be hard to get into. However, having a waitlist means that a specific daycare centre is highly regarded by parents and may be the right place to send your child. To ensure that yours get into the daycare you feel is best for them, start your search early and add your name to the list.

First Visits

There are dependable sources for finding suitable daycare including licensed child care finders, local listings, schools and regional ministries. Ask friends and family as well. If you find one that you’re interested in, stop in and pay a visit. A daycare owner will put their best foot forward if they know you’re coming, but surprising them will give you a better sense of how the daycare is managed day-to-day. 

For instance, you’ll likely want to know if the facilities on site are properly childproofed, clean, and offer access to activities that will interest your children. You also want to make sure that you can’t just wander inside. The doors should be locked to any unauthorized personnel. If you go in unannounced, that means anyone can. Similarly, if you can enter easily, a child can potentially wander out. 

Licensing and Training

Before committing to a daycare, ensure they can provide the proper licensing and proof of training required. Unless you have a friend or family member with a home daycare, proof of these papers is recommended or at the least three references. The daycare should also require a vulnerable sector criminal record check for its employees. Perform sufficient research on any centre you’re thinking of signing up with, and find out if they are accountable to another entity.

 

Whether you are about to return to work following the birth of your child or are moving to a new neighbourhood, these tips will help you find the best care for your children. At Tiny Hoppers, we’re dedicated to the safety and well-being of every child. We offer stimulating, enriching programs and educational experiences throughout Canada, helping your child develop cognitively and socially. Ask us about our available programs today.

 

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