How to select the best daycare for your child

How to select the best daycare for your child


As a new parent, it’s terrifying just to think about leaving your child with somebody else while you return to work. Yet, unless you plan to be a hippy or a work from home freelancer, sooner or later you will have to take this decision, and it would better be an informed one.

Yet, how do you select the best daycare for your baby when you have so many choices? It’s only natural to demand the best for the people you entrust with your child’s life, education and well-being. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Make a list

A daycare is a substitute parent. You need to know exactly what you expect from the institutions, the teachers, and the program. Do you want a focus on physical activity, foreign languages, manners or artistic development?

How many hours a day do you plan to leave your child in the daycare? Do you go for a half-day or full-day? Is the location important to you?

Look for qualified personnel and approved curriculum  

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the certifications of the staff. If they have the necessary qualifications, they will be proud to talk about their know-how and assure you that your toddler is in good hands. You might oversee this, but having First Aid certification could be a lifesaver. Also, ask about the routine check of criminal records.

Most daycare centers offer a long list of activities to choose from. The best way to make the right choice is to visit ahead of time and look at what other children are doing on a regular day. Ask about special activities like field trips and special abilities lessons.

Look for good vibes

The visual environment is key for a child going through the early stages of development. You want the place to have enough visual stimulus to be interesting, but not overwhelming. Ask to see the work and play areas. It’s better if the facility offers an outdoor playground for sunny days. Extras like pool are nice to have but can ramp up the bill consistently.  

Food is important

If you opt-in for a full-day center food will play a significant role in your choice. Even for shorter periods of time, your child will still get at least snacks. Ask about their policy of dealing with allergies and about the catering providers. Ask for a standard weekly menu and be sure to have quantities and nutritional facts. Ask how they handle the situation when a child refuses a particular food.

Visit before you decide

Even if everything looks premium on the website and from preliminary discussions, don’t take a decision before actually visiting the place. If possible, take your child with you and evaluate their reaction to the environment and the staff. Look at other children and their interactions both with one another and the tutors.  At the end of the day, this will be a subjective decision based on evaluating the previously mentioned aspects.