What To Check When You Visit A Day Care For Your Child?
A few must-check aspects of the day care that you shouldn't miss while selecting one are:
1. Look at how happy the children look. If you can see happy faces, it means that it is a good place.
2. Look at how the caregiver interacts with the children.
3. There should be a healthy dose of one-on-one time given to each child.
4. See what disciplining technique is being used. Ask if there is a policy they follow?
5. Check how clean the area and safe the premises are.
6. Ask about the experience of the staff (teachers, supervisors or nannies) in child care and how long they have been with the center.
For better understanding, ask the following questions if possible:
1. What is their Child-Staff and Space: Child ratio?
a. In my opinion, the ratio should be 1:3 for babies, 1:6 for toddlers and 1:8 for older kids.
b. Is there enough free space for children to hang around, be in peace during nap time?
2. What is the food plan? (also depends on the age of your child)
a. Will the meal plan be shared with parents?
b. If food is to be sent from hotome, how it will be stored and will it be heated before serving to the child?
c. If your child is allergic to some foods, do they offer alternatives?
d. Can they give medicines to your child in a timely manner if instructed?
3. How much time the kids get to play outside? Do they have fenced and safe play area outside?
4. Is there a TV in the day care?
a. How much time is given to the children for watching TV?
b. What exactly the children are going to watch the TV?
5. Communication mode for parents
a. Every parent would like to know small things like which other children her daughter bonded with, what new skills she learned, what made her laugh or cry. Ask if they can share a weekly log of her activities? Or photos and videos of your child at regular intervals.
b. What is the protocol if the parents have to communicate something to them?
6. What is the process for rotating and upgrading toys? How is the cleaning of toys done?
7. What would be the daily routine the child will have in the day care? Will it take care of his development needs and give him new learning opportunities?
8. Infrastructure and Safety
a. Ask if the infrastructure is child friendly. For example the basins are at the child's height, The lock in the bathroom are at the child's level etc
b. Are all safety precautions taken? All windows are having grills?
c. It is possible for the child to access open terrace?
d. Is there a watch man at every gate?
e. Do they have CCTV arrangements for monitoring?
f. In case transportation is provided by day care, what is the process? Is the vehicle safe and what is the process to ensure that no child is left out?
9. What do they do if your child is sick?
a. Is there a clear policy in case the child is ill? For example, how to decide whether the child needs to go home or how parents are informed.
b. Also in case of sudden illness or accident, is a doctor available nearby?
10. Is there a policy for visitors? For example - who can visit the child or at what time?
11. Hygiene and Cleanliness
a. How is hygiene maintained in the day care?
b. How often the day care and bathrooms are cleaned?
c. What kind of hygiene is followed for kitchen practices?
Read more about daycare:
Day Care Yes Or No!, Day Care: A Breakdown Of Pros & Cons, Day care, nanny or grandparents? - A working mother's perfect decision making guide for her child's caregiver, Ultimate Guide to selecting the Right DayCare for your child