what are some good questions and things to look for when considering a daycare for your baby?

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All good advice so far. Consistancy in care is really important, so a place with low staff turn over is desirable. Interview the directors and teachers about their positions on what they think children of various ages need most and see if their reposnses match yours. You need to be comfortable with their program. If you can, interview some parents too, to get their impressions of pros and cons of the center you are looking into. You also might consider comparing a center to a home-based care situation (that's what I use).

Terri - posted on 02/24/2009

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i looked around to make sure the area the baby would be playing in was clean, and that they are licensed...that is very important. ask how many kids there will be on the days you will use the day care, and how many people for each child. also, you might want to check their day cancellation policy...a lot of places will still charge you for the day if the baby is sick and you are staying home with them that day. also, the best test was bringing my baby to the person to see how they reacted to the possible caregiver. my daughter opened her arms right up to the babysitter and wanted to be held, so i knew she wasa keeper.

Stephanie - posted on 02/24/2009

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1) Maybe how many days off per year can your child have. Sometimes after so many days they will still charge you at least half of the fee. Daycare is very expensive so price has always been an issue.



2) Do you have the same staff daily in the rooms? It's a lot harder for children to adjust if they change all the time.



3) A given would be the hours they are open and if that will fit your schedule.



4) Know if they have daily reports because I enjoy knowing what my child did (especially when he was younger and the times he ate and slept)

Kristy - posted on 02/24/2009

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Some important questions to ask are "what is the teacher to child ratio," "is their feeding schedule determined by parent, or by teacher," "how do you keep the germ level down (do they sanitize toys frequently?) "what education or background do the teachers have," "am I free to stop in at anytime," "what curriculum is followed, and who creates it". Just some basic questions I have received in the school I am currently working for :)

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009

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Is it clean, how are the care givers speaking to the children, do you have to provide the food, what are their discipline policies, what is the daily routine for the class, how much time to they spend outside, ask for a weekely menu to review, to they help potty-train, do they administer meds (some will not even use diaper rash cream), do they serve breakfast and is it an additional fee (some charge extra for meals), do they go on field trips, what are the extra fees, how to they store cleaning items, what are their procedures for complaints, do they hug children (some will not hug a child), will they help you resolve separation anxiety with little children (one I used felt 2 yr olds should be over that, my son tried to find me in the parking lot), waht activities come to the center (gymnastics, melody makers, etc), how many care givers will your child have each day and what are their names, who is in charge of the day-to-day activities, do they provide transportation to school, etc..



Also, check with your local department of social services to see if they post the inspctions on the web for you to view.

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