Not all daycares are created equal! Here are seven key signs to help you find a great daycare center for your child.
When searching for a great daycare center, you first and foremost need to make sure it is licensed. When the center is licensed, it is subject to all the state regulations, inspections, and rules. This helps to ensure the safety of the children, the building, and the proper qualifications of the providers working in the center.
To check for a daycare center’s license in Arizona, head to the Arizona Department of Health Services website. Their AZ Care Check is a searchable database listing licensing history.
Qualified Staff Who Really Care
A great daycare will make it a point to hire qualified people instead of just anyone who is looking for a job. Training in early childhood education or child development is an asset for childcare providers so that they can plan activities and lessons in accordance with the most current understanding of kids’ developmental needs. Having prior experience in daycare and childcare places are also a plus.
Of course, having tangible qualifications are essential, but there are intangible qualifications you should take note of too. Great daycare centers will hire staff who truly care about the kids they interact with. You’ll be able to see it when they talk and play with the children. When the staff truly care and love what they do, your child will reap the benefits!
Cleanliness and Safety
Excellent childcare centers put kids’ safety first, and it will be visible in all aspects of care. A well-maintained center is also a sign the staff takes pride in their work and is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for the children in their care. They will also go above and beyond to ensure children’s safety. This includes childproofing, food safety practices, a well-kept play space, and constant supervision.
By ensuring that the center you choose has clean facilities and takes safety seriously, you can rest assured your child will be in good hands.
Separated Age Groups
Different age groups have different developmental and educational needs. With that in mind, quality daycares will keep age groups separate. Separate age groups allow lessons, activities, toys, games, and books to target each stage of children’s development. Most importantly, infants should be kept away from older children for the little ones’ safety.
Low Staff-to-Child Ratios
Another good sign? Low staff-to-child ratios. This is one of the clearest ways a daycare center can demonstrate its commitment to excellent care. Why? Because a low staff-to-child ratio has a proven impact on outcomes and helps to ensure child safety, individualized attention for each child, and quality care. In addition, it also helps to create a more relaxed and enjoyable environment for both children and staff members.
Consistent Rules and Policies
Clear, simple, well-communicated, and consistent policies are a sign of a well-organized business that will help to reduce headaches for parents and staff. Parents need to know what expectations are for food from home, discipline, sick kids, and absences. A great daycare will outline its policies for emergencies, safety, and medical situations. After all, transparency and accountability are the foundations of trust between parents and a childcare center.
Strong Parent Engagement
It can be hard to drop off your child at daycare and have no idea what they’re up to all day. Childcare daily reports and parent/teacher meetings are wonderful ways to maintain lines of communication with parents. When a daycare encourages parent engagement, you can have peace of mind knowing your child is in a caring and capable facility.
Happy Staff and Happy Kids
Above all, a great childcare center will have happy staff and kids! When kids are thrilled to go to daycare every morning, that is a strong sign the center is doing things the right way. A center staffed by enthusiastic and patient caregivers will foster that eagerness and create a joyful atmosphere that will be visible to visiting parents.
Consider Giggle and Grow for Your Daycare Needs
On the hunt for a quality daycare for your child? We’d love to be considered for you and your child. At our daycare and preschool, we focus on the needs of very young children and will help your child grow with guidance and encouragement from our teachers. We strive to make a positive difference in the life of every child by partnering with parents to provide an environment that is safe, nurturing, educational, and individualized. Let us help your child learn, play, and grow.