Child Care Guide
There are many excellent child day care centers with well trained staff, then there are ones that are well below standards, so it is important that you look deeper before committing yourself to one.
Day care centers are costly with some being more expensive than others so it is worth calling them and making an appointment to go and take a look around and ask any questions that you have. A good day care centers will have nothing to hide and will let you walk around freely where you will be able to see first hand the activities and talk with staff members.
The cost of day care for your child
Day care centers for your child are costly and prices vary with the bigger and well established centers charging more, day care in big cities will usually cost more than in smaller towns and most day care centers will bill you monthly but some will offer a discount if you pay for a years childcare in advance.
If your child is under the age of one year then you will often be charged more than for an older child and a lot of the centers will give no discount for holidays such as the Christmas break, you will usually still be charged for the month even though your child wasn’t there.
The advantages and disadvantages of a day care center
There are several advantages of your child attending a day care center as opposed to having a nanny, but there are some disadvantages as well to consider.
Mixing with other children in the day care center as opposed to being on their own at home is a plus as this will help them develop among other skills, sharing skills for when they attend school.
A good day care center will be able to provide various activities and a wide range of toys suitable for their age, as well as giving them the opportunity to take part in singing, dancing and story telling activities.
Another benefit a child day care center has over a nanny is that they can be more reliable, that is if your nanny is sick then you would have to make other arraignments where as the day center has plenty of staff at hand.
The disadvantages are while your child is able to mix with other children they are also more prone to catching childhood illnesses from other children. Your child will also not get one on one attention as they would from a nanny but on saying that a good day care center should have enough staff to ensure that proper attention can be given at all times.
Thing to consider when choosing a center
- Choose the location of the center wisely; would it be better for you if it was close to work or home?
- Would you be happier with a smaller or larger child day care center?
- Look into all the possibilities, ask the advice of friends who have children in day care, usually your Doctor’s surgery will have information on day care centers in your area.
- Once you have a few names then call them and make an appointment for a visit to talk with them.
- How do you feel about the center, after having visited it go with your feelings.
- Remember to ask about policies including, do they change activities regularly, what is the child/teacher ratio, what are their policies regarding safety and first aid.
- Once you have a short list narrow it down, the day care will probably give you names of parents of children who are attending and you can use these as reference. Call them and ask them questions.
- Take your child for a visit to the day care center, see how he/she reacts and feels in the place, do you think they would like it.
- If you have special requests can they meet your needs.
- What if any emergency plans do they have, for example if you were running late in picking your child up from day care.