Can someone tell me what to look for when choosing a daycare for an infant?

Tiarra - posted on 05/05/2013 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My job will give me 11 weeks off after the baby is born and the father is not in the picture, then I will need to go back to work. I was wondering if someone could tell me what to look for when choosing a daycare for my baby?

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CORINNE - posted on 05/08/2013

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First check for security.
Next make an UNANNOUNCED VISIT!
See how long it takes for them to let you in to look around. Watch your GUT feeling on this one! When I was looking for a daycare for my 1 1/2 yr old I did just this. Got a bad feeling. Too many kids crying and looking scared at nap time. Took too long to let us through! Found out there was bad things (sexual abuse!) happening to children in this place and was shut down a year later! Thank heavens I listened to my gut!

I chose the KinderCare facilities. But I looked at a lot of others first! KinderCare is great but expensive. However, they TEACH your children as well. And they are safe. I still made unannounced visits at different times after my son was there. But you get a pass code to enter and you can check up to make sure they are safe!

My son is now almost sixteen and the education he received was a great foundation for his steady Honor Roll through Kindergarten to Present (Ninth grade!). I live in Northeast Ohio. So I'm not sure where you are. But ask how long each teacher has been there. That is a good indication of the environment of the facility.

Ask your friends, neighbors, police- see if they have ever had any bad reports or investigations there. (call the NON emergency line or visit in person!).

GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL WITH YOUR PRECIOUS ONES!
THEY CAN NOT BE REPLACED SO CHOOSE WISELY! PRAY FOR ANSWERS AS WELL!

GOD BLESS!
CORINNE BALANTE

Amanda - posted on 05/09/2013

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As a career infant teacher, I can tell you, trust your gut. Does the teacher really seem interested in and care about the children? Does she talk to, smile at, and snuggle them? Is the room cheerful? Find a place that you could see yourself being comfortable in.

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Melodie - posted on 05/13/2013

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State compliance reports. I found some that said urine on floor, broken toys....

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/13/2013

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Oh and I forgot ... I went to a daycare that had private viewing rooms wih glass that you can only see out of and no one could see in, and that were sound proof when I was a kid. My mom would ring the buzzer and the secretary would let her in and she would go up to the box and observe . She liked this bc not even the teachers knew if someone was watching so it kept them on their toes just in case a parent was watching. I do believe the daycare was a little pricey ( but not too much or my mom would never have been able to afford it) but the extra cash is defiantly worth your peace of mind

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 05/13/2013

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I never put my child in day care , but I do know you have to be extra careful . My sister in law is a daycare teacher for Infants and does cocaine and extacy on the weekends . Needless to say she's not someone most people would entrust their newborn to if they could see into her life. I'm not saying everyone is like that at all , but looks can be decieving so proceed with caution. My sil looks like the perfect day care teacher ; she looks put together, is getting a degree to become a school teacher, but how could she possibly have the right judgement with your child when she's under the influence of drugs and alcohol in her spare time! Scary stuff n I'm thankful I've never had to think about it , but for those who do remember there is more than meets the eye!

Shauna - posted on 05/13/2013

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Well, I am an infant teacher in a daycare and I have worked in 3 daycares and none of them had cameras. I will also say that I have never went and looked in to a daycare that did not have enough people to show me around and had me make an appointment to come in and tour. I have two kids of my own and I have never really had any issues. My youngest daughter used to cry when I dropped her off and come to find out it was the teacher. But like some of the others said trust your gut. Make sure you ask questions and look at the rules and regulations and ratio and every think like that. It is very important. And most important make sure that the staff is very sincere about taking care of not only your child but about all the other children. Good luck.

Enna - posted on 05/13/2013

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I agree with most of what everyone said, however I wouldn't be so fast to immediately dismiss a daycare just because they don't let you come in for a tour at any time. Every daycare I toured asked me to make an appointment, and I am extremely hesitant to believe it was so they could make everything look nice for me. They just have certain times where they have extra hands at the front desk who can take you around. Also, I would be extremely uncomfortable if my daycare let in strangers any time of day to see what's going on. Until you have a child there, they don't even know if you're genuinely interested or just some weirdo. And nap time probably isn't the best time to come in because the babies are sleeping.
Once your child is enrolled, yes you should be able to go in whenever you want. I also recommend when your baby is so little, to try to find a place that has cameras in the rooms. It's not really to catch someone doing something wrong, it's so you can satisfy your curiosity about what your baby is doing. It's especially helpful when they get to the point where their crying when you drop them off. I was able to go out in the lobby and watch the monitor to see that my baby stopped crying immediately after I was out of sight almost every day. The other time it seriously helped me was when my daughter was 8 months old and she broke her arm at daycare. I was able to go back and look at that time of day and see that my daughter was playing/laying on the floor and another baby just toddled over and walked right over her arm. It saved me a lot of grief because I was able to see that it was an accident and it wasn't caused by negligence. Cameras aren't always a possibility though. My daughter is six now, and we've moved, so her current daycare does not have cameras. None of the day cares in the area did, but 6 is old enough to tell you if something weird is going on.
Anyway, good luck. I'm sure you'll find a place that you're comfortable with once you go looking.

Cheryl - posted on 05/11/2013

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Go in unannounced. Look around. Smell it, watch the diaper changing and feeding going on. Check out the policy on sickness, food, milk, naps, diaper changes, all of that. Ask about safety issues-locked entrances to keep out predators, fire drills, tornado shelter, emergency situations, storms, etc. Meet the people who will care for your child. Watch how they interact with the other kids. Check the state law and accreditation rules regarding day care centers (Department of Health and Families in most states) and the ratio of staff to babies and be sure they have enough people to care for your child. Ask about pick up and drop off. Look at playground toys and equipment, ground surfaces, etc. Be sure there are no hazards there. Check out the toys and look to see if they appear clean. Ask what they use to clean the crib rails, toys, how often they are cleaned. When do they launder sheets? Do you provide your own sheets and blankets? What about special toys or blankets (some centers don't allow them). Will your infant nap in a room with potentially crying babies and disrupt his/her sleep? Can you bring in a white noise machine or do they have one? Is there a late fee for late pick up? Can you drop off late? Do you have to provide snacks? If not, what type of snacks do they feed babies once they are able to have cereals and solids? Be prepared to ask all these questions! Good luck!

Kathleen - posted on 05/10/2013

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I am just retiring as a daycare/ preschool/ infant teacher/ director. First, if you have to make an appointment to tour a facility, DON'T. I tell all my prospective parents I have an open door policy, they are welcome to come anytime. Next, does the baby room look and smell clean? If it is clean when you drop in, most likely it is clean all the time. If all the babies are crying and look like they have been crying a long time, ask questions. Some times, it is just that time of day when they are all hungry or tired at the same time. It is hard for one person to get to four babies all at once. Our state is a 4 to 1 ratio. Does each baby have their own bed? No bed sharing unless the bed is sanitized and sheets changed between babies. Do they keep the different babies bottles separated, and are they sanitized between uses. Is there a refrigerator in the room for breast milk? Are you welcome to come to breast feed your baby during the day if you choose? How many teachers will interact with your baby? Do they have evacuation plans and do they practice them with the babies? Ask tons of questions.

Sherries - posted on 05/06/2013

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I know when my husband first looked we went to three different centers before choosing Kindercare Learning. It was the only center that I did not have to make an appt to see. That was the first flag. If I have to make an appt then you are filling your class rooms with the correct amount of staff while I'm there. Not a good sign. My son is now eight and my 2 year old also attends the same center. They love it. The teachers and director are great. You have to have a good feeling when your there. If it's not there the first time you visit it's never going to be there. Make sure that there is at one teacher for every 4 infants. That's the state regulations where I live. Should be the same across the states. It usually goes to 1 teacher 6 kids as they hit the waddler age and so on. Clean, they must look and smell clean. Sometimes you can enter a place and the smell is the first indication there is something wrong. Also, ask about their food program. Even though my husband and I did not need the assistants the daycare had to provide the same formula it offered to those families that needed it. Nice perk, helped us out on the formula side. Also our daycare just went to no drop side cribs due to injury issues with them. Since my son was born they have made other changes, no swings or bouncy seats. They want the teachers on the floor with the kids for one on one activities. These are just a few ideas, hope it helps. You might want to check in your area for top rated daycare/babysitters. I know there is a site on-line (google) can't remember what it is. Saw the commerical for it the other day. You can always go on-line to the better business bur to make sure there have been no complaints. Good luck and congrats on the little one.

Michelle - posted on 05/06/2013

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Make sure you are comfortable with the staff for starters. You are going to be leaving your child with them so you need to trust them. Also look at the rooms and what routines they have in place.

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