As parents, we don’t want to leave our children with just anyone. We want to make sure we are finding the best childcare available for our children. But when it comes to local childcare there are a number of choices and sometimes it can be difficult to find the right one.
We know that children thrive when they are in the right environment. Whether it’s the Wesley Day Care Center in Glen Burnie or another facility, we hope you find the perfect environment for your child(ren) to grow. That’s why we wanted to highlight the things parents should think about when choosing childcare.
Does it fit your needs?
The first thing parents should think about is if the childcare provider fits their needs. It seems obvious, but sometimes we can spend a lot of time and emotional energy only to find that our top choice won’t work out logistically.
Here are the initial things a parent should think about when vetting childcare providers:
Do they offer the right age group?
Is it in home care or a group daycare facility?
Do their hours align with your needs?
Can you afford the costs?
Does it work with your schedule?
As you research daycare centers, preschools and babysitters, it’s important to make sure that they will align with your needs. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a provider, only to find out that they aren’t suitable for your needs.
Is it the right environment for your child
One of the most crucial elements of a child’s development is having the right environment. You can find a friendly and convenient childcare provider but that doesn’t mean they will foster an environment that you want for your child.
So what do you want for your child?
Here’s what many parents look for when choosing childcare:
An emphasis on healthy choices
Encouraging staff members
Having the right facilities such as a playground
A place where children feel loved and cared for
In some cases, a child will spend more of their waking hours with a childcare provider during the work week than with a parent. It is important that whoever is caring for your child provides the type of environment they need to learn and grow.
Is the staff Experienced?
When speaking to babysitters and other childcare providers, you will meet some of the nicest and most caring people. Most people don’t get into this type of work without having a soft spot for children. Unfortunately, it takes more than a nice person to adequately care for a child or a group of children.
When a care provider is experienced, they understand what it takes to create the right environment and schedule for a child day to day. They understand that children have bad days and can handle it patiently without being overwhelmed. Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, an experienced caregiver will likely provide a better and more consistent experience for your child day to day.
Is there Open communication available?
There’s usually little downtime when caring for children. This makes it hard to communicate with every single parent throughout the day. But, that doesn’t make it any less important. As a parent, you have the right to know what’s going on with your child throughout the day.
It’s impossible for a care provider to speak with every parent, every minute of the day. But they can still foster open communication with parents.
As an example, we try to speak with parents during drop-off and pick-up times, but we know that’s a difficult time. So, we also provide access to the Brightwheel app which allows parents to stay in touch with teachers and keep up to date with how their child is doing.
When you find a childcare provider who offers open communication, it means they understand and respect your concerns as a parent.
Do the staff and children seem happy?
Before you decide on a childcare provider, make sure to schedule a visit. During that visit, try to be aware of how the staff and children feel. Does the facility feel like a happy place? Do the children seem to be enjoying themselves? Are the teachers happy or do they seem frustrated and burned out?
While it may seem like a silly indicator, it can a lot about what happens day in and day out. If children are enjoying themselves they will be more likely to try new activities and grow.
At the end of the day, that’s what we really want for our children. Not just someone to watch them while we work, but someone who will help them learn, grow and develop into the amazing people we know they will someday be.