The health, safety, and happiness of your child is always your priority, and when the time comes to enroll them in child care, it’s only natural to have such related concerns. Will they have fun? Will they make friends? Will they thrive? As a parent, you have high standards for your kids, so of course, you’re going to want the absolute best in child care services, which means you will most likely be visiting many centres before finding the one that’s right for you. Click here to explore your options for childcare in Surrey.
So, what should you be checking for?
What are the facility’s pick-up and drop-off procedures? Ideally, children will be checked in by a staff member with the parents present. This allows parents to let staff know if their children’s daily schedule will deviate in any way, if they need to take any medicine, or will be picked up by someone else. Ask how many doors lead into the centre and whether or not those doors are locked or manned. If a family friend or relative is going to pick up the child instead of the parents, know if the center asks for the identification or notify the parents to confirm.
The centre will need an up-to-date licence to operate, but what about the staff? Usually, prospective employees will need to provide proof of certification and possible background criminal record checks before being hired, but it’s a good idea to inquire as to whether or not those certificates are renewed or reviewed regularly.
Staff to Child Ratios
Children love to explore and roam, often running from one area to another, inside and outside. Does this facility have enough staff on hand to keep an eye on every child in their care? What are the staff-to-child ratios at this centre? Ratios vary from province to province and also depend on the age of the children, so be sure you understand the centre’s policy and be informed as to whether or not this is in line with the local laws.
If the centre you considering offers any kind of hot lunch or breakfast program, you’re going to want to make sure that they have an up-to-date food-safe licence approved by a health and safety inspector. Is the centre dedicated to serving nutritious food? If no lunch program is offered, parents are responsible for sending their kids to the program with lunch. For kids with allergies, this can be a real concern. Make sure to inquire as to what the centre policy is on foods like nuts and other known allergens which can cause serious allergic reactions. Many schools and child care centres have banned nuts from their centre regardless of whether or not they have kids with allergies.
Now more than ever, we need to make sure we’re not spreading germs. Does the centre you considering adhere to a daily health check? What is the procedure followed if a sick child comes to the program or starts displaying symptoms of illness throughout the day? Also, ask about how often high touch surfaces are disinfected and what the cleaning schedule is for shared toys and soft surfaces like stuffed animals and costumes.
Guidance and Discipline
When children misbehave, are they punished or does the centre take the time to explain the situation and work with them to find a solution? Moments like this are pivotal in developing a child’s sense of right and wrong.
Don’t be afraid to present ‘what if’ scenarios to see how the staff would respond. Ask as many questions as you need. Click here to schedule an introduction appointment for childcare in Surrey.