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Mandy Kloppers

8 Things to Consider When Looking for a Childcare Provider

If you’re a parent, your child will be the most important thing in your life. Parents worldwide know the feeling of wanting to do anything to make their children secure and happy and give them everything they need to succeed. One of the most important things your child needs is proper childcare, such as daycare, preschool, or summer camp. These childcare providers will care for your child while you work or settle your affairs. Before you trust these providers with the most important thing in your life, however, you should consider a few things. 

Safety and Cleanliness

The most important consideration, before all others, is how safe the premises are. You probably remember how stressful childproofing your home was when you first became a parent; this is equally important in the childcare center, where your child will be spending a good chunk of time daily. If sharp objects, broken steps, or unsafe or loose playground equipment are in easy access, your child could get injured. If the standard of cleanliness is low, then there’s a chance your kid will catch a stomach bug or any other disease. 

Qualifications

The professionals at the childcare center you’re considering should be properly qualified for their job. You can ask for certifications or proof of degrees; they’ll have to show you if they have any. The most important certifications to look for are Early Childhood Education or ECE credentials and First Aid certification for any health emergencies. You should look for NAEYC accreditation in preschools, which shows that the preschool is high quality. If you’re in Maryland, for example, a Bethesda childcare center like Greentree has qualified professionals to care for your children.

Child-to-Caregiver Ratio

Your child will spend much of their day at the childcare center you choose. It’s integral that your child gets enough support and attention during this time, as well as enough education and interaction with others to ensure it’s a productive time for them, too. Check for a good child-to-caregiver ratio so there are enough responsible employees for the children. A good ratio is 5:1. This ensures your kid will always get attention and safety within the premises.

Curriculum and Activities

The curriculum and the activities offered by the childcare center will be important for your child’s development. At an early age, it’s important to start their education and their social lives so that they know how to interact with others. The best approach for this is to have a curriculum with a mix of informative modules such as basic addition and subtraction, puzzle solving, spelling, and drawing, and play time which kids can use to make friends and interact. You should check the curriculum of the place you’re interested in to see if the mix of activities they offer suits you.

Nutrition

Nutrition is something that you can never take for granted. A child’s feeding schedule is unpredictable, especially in infancy. Once they’ve entered childhood, they can still be picky eaters, getting through the day relying solely on junk food. To make sure your child has a balanced diet, you should put them in an environment that offers foods rich in nutrients whenever you’re not around. The center you’re interested in should have lots of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins in the food they offer, as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is great for the mental and physical development of your kid.

References From Other Parents

It’s common for parents/primary caregivers to have friends around the same age that have children. These friends can provide some advice and wisdom based on their own experiences. Often, they’ll have experience with many different childcare facilities and will be able to guide you so you find the best fit for you and your kid. Going for the facilities that have the best word-of-mouth is recommended. 

Flexibility

Having a flexible schedule is important as, if you’re busy and have a career, the hours you’ll be able to care for your child won’t always be regular. Look for flexible hours in the place you’re considering, as this will free your schedule up, and you’ll be able to take care of everything you need to do at all hours of the day while knowing your child is cared for. You can also go out for dinners and dates with your partner, knowing that someone will be there to babysit.

Cost 

Lastly, you should be conscious of the price of the facility. Make sure that the fees fall within your budget. If they don’t, you may still be able to work out a payment schedule. Make sure you don’t go for a lesser facility just to save money, as your child’s health is the most important. It’s also not recommended to go to a very high-end place when you can’t afford it.

Conclusion

Raising a child is one of the toughest jobs in the world. The early stages of childhood are what stick with people for the rest of their lives, so it’s important that during this phase, your child is properly cared for and provided with everything they could need. However, you also need to put food on the table, and take care of other businesses, so you can’t be looking after them all the time. Childcare providers will bridge the gap for you, but you need to first be sure if the one you picked is right for you. If you consider all the things listed in this article, you should be able to find a quality provider that is right for you. 

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