What resources do you use to investigate day care options

Becky - posted on 05/05/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Particulary to evaluate ratio levels and compliance to regulations.

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Candy - posted on 04/25/2011

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Your best bet is to ask to bring your child along, in your company, for a play session to see if they like the centre and seem happy. Most centres encourage this. Arm yourself with information about regulations re ratios in your country (don't know where you are- in Australia the new ratios being phased in are 1:4 for babies, 1: 5 for toddlers, 1:11 for preschoolers). Then while you're there, you watch what goes on like a hawk, do head counts of staff and kids, but more importantly watch whether those staff are actually supervising the kids properly or just hanging around gossiping.

And also look around at what's there. Does the centre look clean? I don't mean tidy necessarily, because happy kids make a mess, but is there grime on surfaces that looks like it's been there a while? How high is the play equipment set up- does it look safe to you compared to what the regs say?

You can always find the appropriate regs for your area on the web- just google 'childcare legislation' with your state/country and open the page with the most recent date.

Good luck!

Ann - posted on 05/05/2010

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I think the ratios thing is you have to figure out what you are comfortable with. At my daycare there are eight kids. However, there are only about five/six before the school lets out at 3 ish. Then there are more kids after 3:30, the busiest time. However, my eight month old loves her daycare and socializing with other kids her age or near her age. Compliance to regs though you have to talk to other moms/parents there. Ask your potential daycare provider for current references that go there and ask around your community either online or even at the library. I started my search for daycares with health and human services. then I went around all the seven providers and asked them all the questions I had so that way I had a general basis to compare when I was deciding on where to send her. Also make a scheduled visit to the place and then a drop in one as well.

Dora - posted on 05/05/2010

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Surprise visits will help you see what is truly going on. If the daycare frowns upon a surprise visit then you need to ask yourself why and maybe look into the next daycare. Also check state records to insure they are following protocols.

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