Signs of a Good Child Care Center
June 29, 2017 · Posted in Education, Parenting · Permalink

by Jackie Edwards

In New York City, there are over 3,900 day care centers, but only a few of them may provide the kind of care, nurturing, and stimulating environment that you expect. For many parents, choosing a good child care center has become more important than ever, as this is where your child will spend most of his or her formative years. Finding the best child care center for your little one may be daunting, but with a bit of time spent visiting a few locations and observing what goes on inside them, you can recognize the signs of a good facility. From there, you’ll be able to determine whether it will be a place of learning and fun for your child.

Here are the signs of a good child care center.

The center has an ideal child care provider to child ratio

According to the New York state requirements for daycare centers, the ideal care provider to child ratio is 1:4, and this is applicable if the children are ages 6 weeks to 9 months. The number of children per care provider may increase depending on the kids’ age group. If your child is three years old and will be cared for alongside other children with the same age, then the ideal ratio is 1:7.

The workers are knowledgeable, competent, and have sufficient training

A child care center’s head of groups should have an AA in early education or early childhood development. Those who are caring for children under the age of three should have at least one year’s experience or training in infant and toddler care. You can ask the center’s director about the staff’s credentials, but you can also look around and see how the workers interact with the children.

The staff is warm and responsive to children

If the caregivers look competent and calm in dealing with different types of situations, then that’s one of the main signs of a good childcare facility. However, the staff should also have close interactions with the children, so they should be playing with the kids on the ground or holding very young babies. Workers should be warm and responsive to children of all ages, and they should provide consistent care.

The center has a good reputation

Ask the child care center to provide names and numbers of current clients and call them for references. If the facility refuses your request, you can always drop by in the afternoons when the kids get picked up by their parents. Strike up a conversation with the other parents and find out if they truly love the center and its program. If you happen to find a parent or two that shares your values with regards to child care and they happen to love the center, then you may find that it’s the right fit for you and your child.

It has a stimulating environment

It’s a good sign if the center has a lot of books, toys, and crafting materials for children. While some facilities let children watch videos, it shouldn’t take up most of their day. Ideally, a center should have structured schedules for meals, reading, and quiet time, but it should also allow children to have enough free time to play.

A good child care center may be a challenge to find, but by recognizing the signs of a good facility, you may find one that is just right for what you and your child need. Above all, you must also trust your instincts when you’re searching for a center. If you think that there is something that’s not quite right with a certain place, you can always move on and find another one that’s better suited to your requirements. Though searching for a good child care center may take some time, it’s worth it if you can find one that can provide the care, learning, and nurture that your little one needs.

Now a freelance writer, Jackie formerly worked in HR but took a career break when she became a mother. Writing gives her the freedom to be at home with her children, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities.

 

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