When you are looking for child care for your little one, how do you know when you have found the right fit? There are many good childcare centers, but fewer really great ones. So, what separates a good daycare from a great one? Below, 2000daysdaycare.ca provides some answers to that question by pointing out the best attributes of a great childcare center.
A great childcare center has excellent reviews and a solid reputation. Check online reviews and ask your potential center for some references. You can also talk to friends to learn about their favourite local options for childcare. When reading reviews on the internet, bear in mind that not all of these will be positive. But you should look for negative patterns that point to real, ongoing problems at the center.
An excellent daycare center provides a stimulating environment for early learning. Remember, the first 2000 days of your child’s life are critical for learning and establishment of a solid foundation for their further education and even their career. When you visit the center, does it appear engaging, vibrant and fun? Is it a welcoming place in which you can see your child thriving?
“Great” is best defined as a place where your child enjoys an interesting curriculum for daily learning. They should not spend a lot of time watching videos or TV. Instead, they need a clear curriculum to achieve age-appropriate educational goals.
Caring Teachers with Great Qualifications
At the very least, your child’s potential childcare center should employ teachers that meet the state requirements for certifications. But a really great center is one that employs caregivers with a deeper interest in providing quality care and guidance. Look for teachers in the school who have degrees in early childhood development or education. At the very least, teachers should have a couple of years of a college education.
A great childcare center works hard to ensure your child’s wellness and safety. This is particularly important after our collective struggles during the coronavirus pandemic. Look for a center that focuses on constant supervision, cleanliness, sanitization practices, childproofing and food safety.
Low Employee Turnover
At the young age of children attending childcare centers, stability is important. Stability in childcare comes from a well-established routine and consistency in caregiving. Look for a center that experiences low employee turnover. Also, look for one with a good teacher-to-student ratio, such as one caregiver per every six children.
Clear Policies and Procedures
All daycares should have clear policies and procedures in place, not just for their own staff but also for parents and children. These policies should be written and available for your review upon request. Ideally, a great childcare center provides an abridged version of these policies and procedures to parents, such as upon enrolling your child.
Licensing and Accreditation
Your prospective childcare center should be licensed according to your province or territory’s requirements. Accreditation is a step above licensing but not required. Before enrolling your child in a center, get to know your region’s licensing requirements. A centre that shows greater interest in early childhood education and other practices looks for certifications and accreditation.
Comparing Good vs. Great Daycares
When looking for a great daycare center in your area, visit several options and gain an understanding of their individual attributes. Write down the pros and cons of each one of your options. Then, compare these benefits and drawbacks to see which centers are good for your child and which ones are great. Of course, much of the definition of “great” comes down to your individual preferences and where you think your child will thrive in education and social development.