As a parent, naturally, you want the best for your children. When it’s time to go back to work, leaving your child or children with a nanny or in a daycare centre can be stressful and unnerving. Even after all the vetting and all the preparation, there are few things as hard as that first day you leave them in someone else’s care.
Of course, every child is unique, so beyond watching out for the obvious health and safety measures, adequate licensing and security, you want to choose a daycare centre that your child will thrive in. Here are a few easy questions to ask yourself when considering a daycare centre for your child.
1. What Type of Child Care Do You Need?
Do you need a full day or half-day service? How many kids need care and how big is their age difference? Do you want them to go to daycare together or can they each go to separate centres? Your child’s age will decide the answer to most of these types of questions. Children that are still in infancy require more hands-on care than toddlers and kids that are almost ready for school. Although most child care licensing laws require only 1 adult per 5 kids, keep in mind that the more grown-ups there are at the centre, the better quality care you can expect your child to receive.
2. What Types of Activities Does This Child Care Centre Offer?
Is your child shy or more outgoing? Are they athletic or artistic? Are there any behavioural problems that you’re hoping a daycare centre can help you address? By finding a daycare that specializes in any particular “niche” you give your child a chance to foster any budding interests they might be exploring. They might even discover a passion for something else they normally wouldn’t be exposed to with a nanny or at home.
3. Is The Day Structured?
Children rely heavily on routines. Adjusting to a new space, new faces and a new environment can be stressful on them, but the structure of a well planned out day can alleviate some of that uncertainty. This also helps them get used to the routines they will be following once they start school. If you can, observe how the centre structures its day and how unexpected interruptions to routines are handled.
4. Ask Your Child What Their Opinion Is
Most kids will resist going to daycare at first, but after some time they start to enjoy and ask to stay longer when it’s time to go home. However, if they just don’t like the space, no amount of time spent there will change their mind. After spending some time getting familiar with the centre, ask your child if they had fun and what they did or didn’t like about it.
Finding a daycare centre for your child doesn’t need to be hard. For daycare services in Surrey, click here to explore your options