Top Tips for Choosing a Child-Care Provider
THE CHILDREN’S ACADEMY – PRIVATE PRESCHOOL IN FRANKLIN, TN AND SPRING HILL, TN
Choosing the right child care facility for your child can be a daunting task, so we want to offer some tips and suggestions to consider as you undertake the task of making this important choice. We believe kids learn best when they feel happy & secure – read more about how our preschool is dedicated to helping your child grow!
SAFE AND SECURE
Safety and security is obviously a parent’s top concern. Look to see if the building and equipment are in good repair. A security system is key—this way only authorized people can come and go, and all entry and exit activity is monitored. Also, be sure you understand pick-up and drop-off procedures. What’s their system for knowing who is authorized to pick-up your child.
CLEAN AND HEALTHY
Cleanliness is also a high priority. Caregivers should encourage children to wash their hands often, especially after using the restroom and before eating. Caregivers should lead by example and follow the same procedures, including after diapering. Be sure to take a look around. Get a feel for the facility. Are the restrooms clean? What about the area where your child will be receiving meals?
WARM AND RESPONSIVE
You want to make sure your child is in a kind, loving environment and know that someone is dedicated to attending to your child’s needs. Listen for laughter and conversation between children and teachers. It is important that teachers talk to the children kindly and with respect. Also, look to see if teachers make an effort to talk to the children at eye-level. Infants should be held both lovingly and often.
STIMULATING AND DYNAMIC
Children should be engaged in active learning through play. It is important that the children have interesting things with which to explore, read and interact. Look for blocks, puzzles, books, and dramatic play materials inside, and space and equipment for climbing, running, and throwing balls outside. Activity matters. Look at what is going on and think about whether your child would be happy there.
RESPECTFUL AND WELCOMING
Look for an environment where the teachers and administrators respect your home culture and language. It is also important that the parents of enrolled children are welcome to visit at any time.
PROFESSIONAL AND POLISHED
Check the qualifications of the director and teachers, and make sure they are held to high standards. It is a plus if the staff has specialized training in child development, and if lesson plans and daily schedules are posted and clearly available for parents to read.
STAFFED AND STEADY
It is important that enough trained adults are available at all times. You want your child to get the attention he or she deserves, of course, but this is also a safety precaution. Ideally, there should be no more than four infants per adult, no more than seven 2-year-olds per adult and no more than ten preschoolers per adult. Ask what the staff turn-over rate is. Child care programs typically have some annual turn-over, but it is a red flag if the turn-over rate exceeds 33 percent annually.
CLEAR AND COMMUNICATIVE
Consistent, clear communication between center staff and you is essential. Ask if the director sends out regular newsletters and if not, how he or she regularly communicates with parents. It is also important that teachers schedule conferences or write daily notes sharing information about your child’s development. Ask if the facility has written policies compiled in a parent handbook. If so, this is a very good sign.
RECOMMENDED AND ACCREDITED
References go a long way. It is notable if the center can help you check references by providing contact information for current or past enrolled families (with their prior permission, of course). It is also important to check with licensing authorities for any infractions the center may have.
Trust your gut. If it is telling you “no,” keep looking.