How to Choose the Right Child Care

Looking for the right child care for your child can be challenging it takes time and efforts in order to choose one fitting your child and your family’s needs. No matter what type of child care you need for your baby or child, you need to find a place where you and your child feel comfortable. Here we give parents some suggestions and reference on How To Choose A Daycare to help you find the best child care.

6 Steps for choosing quality child care

1. Start early and do your own researches
Start early as possible as you can since popular child care services have a long waiting list. No matter what type of care you are considering, such as a child care center, care in someone else’s home, finding the right child care option can take some time.

Make a list from online and offline resource by considering age ranges, hours and locations and narrow down a candidate list of some child care providers with contact information and address, which meet your child and your family’s needs.

2. Make calls and ask questions
Call your candidate child care providers, and ask the following questions we suggest.

Philosophy
Does this childcare focus on nurturing and providing quality care or does it have an academics component as well? How providers are trained? What types of enrichment activities do they have? Is there a schedule that is adhered to each day?

Next opening
It is usual some of child care providers you like simply are not available when you are available. Ask about waiting lists and ask for putting your child on the waiting list if you prefer.

Child care costs
Once you have made your initial selection, you need to know the costs. Depending on where you live and the option you choose, such as, uniform requirements, food/snack or other type of meal requirements, the cost could be high than you thought. Weekly costs may depend on the age of the child, setting and situation, and could easily range from $75 a week upward to $300 or even more. Know your budget and what value and benefit your child will receive from the care selected. Ask whether the childcare provider charges extra if you pick your child up late. Some child care providers charge $1 for every minute a parent is late after closing hours. Others are more lax and a few may even offer parents a couple of exceptions due to extenuating circumstances. However, a few minutes are one thing; 30 minutes late is typically never acceptable.

Flexibility
How they handle part time hours and vacations? Some centers you pay for your vacation time to hold your spot, while others waive this after a certain period of time. If your child is out for three days due to illness or away for a week on a vacation, do parents still have to pay for child care?

3. Visit and ask questions
We recommend parents visit the child care options you are considering in person. See and make observation, and find out some of the key indicators of child care quality.

Adult to Child Ratio
Ask how many children there are for each adult. Usually, the fewer the children for each adult, the better for your child since your child may get more attention, especially for the younger child. Babies need an adult to child ratio of no more than 1:4, one adult for four infants, while four-year-old children can do well with a ratio of 1:10, one adult for ten children.

Caregiver qualifications
Ask about the caregivers’ training and education. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to help your child develop and learn. Are the caregivers involved in activities to improve their skills?

Turnover
It is recommended children can stay with the same caregiver at least a year. Caregivers who come and go make it hard on children to adjust. For children, getting used to new caregivers takes time and energy that could be spent on learning new things.

Meals and snacks served
Parents and providers may have different notions about what is a nutritionally balanced meal or snack. Parents must know that child care providers cannot tailor meals to individual children; however, particular requests to avoid and any food sensitivities must be stated and clearly understood, such as allergies. Ask about occasional treats, junk food, and food preparation.

Accreditation
Licensing requirements and regulations regarding child care providers may differ by state, but parents should confirm whether their provider is up-to-date. Day care centers often have additional credentialing options. Ask about any inspections and credentials, and what criteria is used.

Find out if the child care provider has been accredited by a national organization. Providers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than most state licensing requirements. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) are the two largest organizations that accredit child care programs.

4. Make a choice
Think about what you saw and heard at each visit, consider those tradeoffs, decide your priority first and make the best choice for your child and family.

5. Contact to your child care provider
Once you pick your child’ care provider, contact to them as early as possible because some of the care providers with the best reputations often have the longest waiting lists. A few even start signing up infants as soon as they are born so they will be “in” by the time they reach a certain age. Therefore, if you are thinking about child care, contact the child care provider early. And, if there is no room at your top pick, get on the waiting list, and then find your second choice.

6. Stay involved
Early childhood care and education need parents and child care providers’ collaboration. You and your child’s caregiver should work closely in order provide your child the best care and education. There are many ways for parents to get and stay involved. Some of them are

  • Talk to your caregiver regularly, and ask questions whenever you have a chance.
  • Offer to volunteer when needed.
  • Be there for your child’s birthday party.
  • Join in special events, like field trips, Christmas party, or other holidays.

When you check in at drop-off and pick-up times, ask the caregiver how your child is doing. Visiting and participating in events at your child’s provider sends a strong message that tells your child and your child’s caregiver that you think what your child is doing and learning is important and you are doing your best to help your child develop healthily. Hope the information above on How To Choose A Daycare is helpful.

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How to Choose the Right Preschool for Your Child

Preschool is the first step on your child’s academic journey, which serves as the foundation for all future learning. Your child will learn the basics like the alphabet and numbers, and important social skills like how to be independent, how to share and how to follow instructions as well. Learn about How To Choose A Preschool, and then choosing a right preschool for your child will be easy when you plan ahead and know what your expectations are from a preschool program. Investing the time to research can help ensure your child have a great preschool experience.

Here, we give some suggestion to help parents to find the preschool fits the particular needs of your child and family. From academics to socialization, and transportation to how long the school day is, here’s how to carefully weigh each aspect of preschool and make a decision that is right for your child and your family.

When should I start?

Many preschools start to take applications in January, and may hold open houses even sooner, but you should check with each individual program. Start looking at schools in September before you want your child to start to attend. In many cases this is when your child is 2. Check with the school to find out the details on age qualifications and other factors such as potty training.

Figure out what is important to your child and your family

You should pinpoint your top child and family needs. Focusing on a few of your highest priority needs is critical for narrowing your search and choosing a preschool that is a great fit. What do you want from your child’s preschool? Are you looking for a rigorous academic program or something more socially-based?

Consider the following major factors

Preschools will vary by cost, length of program, school’s philosophy, religious affiliation and student teacher ratio. Collect the following information by searching online and offline resource and by making calls.

Cost
Depending on where you live, the cost of preschool can be pretty expensive. Decide what you can afford so that you can focus on the schools that are in your price range.

Length of program
You will want to determine how many days and for how long you want your child in preschool. While some preschools offer many different programs at all times of the day, some may only have one set program.

School’s philosophy
Each preschool may have its own philosophy. For example, Montessori schools are famous for fostering independence, Waldorf schools for their creativity; the High/Scope method sets personal goals for kids. So do your research. You can also find programs run through churches where religion is part of the everyday curriculum. Other options include programs affiliated with community groups such as the YMCA and state-run programs that are often free for all residents or low-income families.

Religious affiliation
A large number of preschools are held in church, but that does not mean there is religious education involved. And many religious-based preschools will allow a child of any faith to attend. The only way to be sure is to ask the director specifically.

Student teacher ratio
Each state law requires a preschool to have a certain number of children per teacher. Many schools may follow this, but some schools may offer a better ratio, namely fewer children per teacher, but often at an added cost reflected in their tuition. A good guideline is one adult for every seven 2 1/2- to 3-year-olds or ten 3- to 5-year-olds with no more than 14 students in a room for 2 1/2- to 3-year-olds and 20 for 3- to 5-year-olds.

Transportation and distance
How far away is the preschool from your home? How will your child get to school? Will your child ride a bus or will you pick your child up and drop him or her off? A preschool close to where you live may make it easier for your child to foster the friendships he or she makes in school.

Make a list of some preschools

One way to find a good preschool is to ask around. Talk to your friends and other parents and ask where they send their children to preschool. A good recommendation is a great place to start. Be sure to ask your friends what they like and do not like about the school.
Select several preschools you want to learn more about by considering the above major factors, and plan several on site visits.

Go for site visit

Doing a site visit to all of your potential choices is necessary. Call ahead to schedule a mutually convenient time so you will be able to meet with either the school principal, director or a staff member to talk and take a tour of the facilities. Bring your child to the school to see what he or she thinks. Most schools will welcome the opportunity to meet potential students and a visit will also help your child start to understand what preschool is. Check for proper licensing, and on your tour of the school pay close attention to how clean the school is. Talk to the principal, teachers, assistants and staff. Be sure to inquire about safety and security procedures and what their policy is about picking up your child.

You may also want to ask more questions in depth. For example, what your child learns? How your child learns? If you are permitted to do so, do not approach the teacher or children during the lessons and try to stay for at least a half hour so you can get a better feel for how the class runs.

Make your decision

After you have done several visits on your potential choices, and once you have narrowed down your choices, you may decide your top three choices that most closely matches your criteria by your child and your family’s needs. Preschool should be a place where your child learns to love school and learns to love learning.

Preschool is a great foundation for your child’s future education. A good program will help prepare your child both socially and academically. Preschool is the building block of early childhood learning and helps prepare your child for that next step, elementary school. Parents should plan ahead of time and do your research to find the best preschool for your child because preschool sets the tone for later years of education. If your child’s first experience with school is happy, then he or she will think school is a happy place-and that is what any parent wants.How To Choose A Preschool for your child depends on your child’s individual needs.

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