All parents wonder about this at some point or another. Sadly, some parents may not make the time to find the answer to this question.
When my child was 2 years old he began going to weekly daycare. I felt confident that my son would not be subject to any mistreatment, since he was going to daycare on a military installation; however, this should not have been the only reason for my comfort, as mistreatment can happen anywhere. Thankfully, my son did not experience any mistreatment. However, it does happen more frequently than not — if there is no physical mistreatment, then there may be mental abuse; as a result, children may suffer developmentally, due to a lack of attention or attentiveness of the caregivers.
I used to visit my son’s daycare regularly. After dropping him off in the morning, sometimes I would hang around for a little while and look into the window to get a feel for their regular routine. Sometimes my son would cry as he was being dropped off which made me curious to know what went on there. Thankfully, he was only experiencing a little separation anxiety, like most children of that age. Most of the time I discovered that by the time I walked out, my son was already having fun, laughing and interacting with the other children. I would also regularly come back unannounced during the month to observe the activities, and I would also frequently ask my child what he did all day. Thankfully, his care givers loved him and it showed.
Ok, so how do you actually know whether a day care is good or bad? My recommendation is to do your research before enrolling your child, such as asking around and checking on-line reviews
Below is a list of tell-tale signs concerning good and bad day care facilities to help you determine if your child is in good hands:
- While scouting out daycares it is important to observe the vacancies. If you notice that they have lots of openings or vacancies, it could be a red flag that it is not suitable.
- Once you find your daycare, speak with the director before enrolling. If they seem unknowledgeable, it could be another red flag. The director of all people should be highly knowledgeable and motivated and show genuine sincerity.
- Once your child is enrolled, you should pay attention to how accomodating the caregivers are. If they seem to be working against you, in any situation, it could be a tell-tale sign of a bad daycare.
- Bad communication between you and the caregiver.
- A lax sick child policy.
- The center should request current immunizations.
- No organized curriculum with lack of substance. Children need variety and structure in order to grow.
- Look for frequent artwork displayed on walls. You should also not see many videos or movies as hands-on learning and interaction should be the goal.
- If you are seeking in home childcare as something less formal, remember that these facilities should still have a set schedule, and be a safe environment for your child.
- The main point to remember is that your child requires a wide range of formalized activities that will encourage their development. If the center does not offer it, keep it moving.
Just food for thought ~ as usual I would love to know your thoughts.
~ D. Linn Whorley