One of the most important things for any parent is deciding when is the right time to go back to work, and what to look for when it comes to finding the right daycare. It’s a parent’s prerogative to be picky and choosey. I mean these are your most precious things. Plus, there are always options.
For some parents, you have at home daycare vs normal in a licensed daycare. And lately many good quality daycares are getting a bad rap because parents lack the knowledge they need to make an informative decision, such as some daycares operating without a license or taking on more kids than what is allowed.
Here are some tips for parents to help you choose the right at-home daycare for your child
1.) Ask about sick policies – those who are there to support families will strictly follow Fraser Health’s guidelines to ensure kids stay happy and healthy. FH guidelines are regulated and must be followed by all licensed daycares.
2.) Look for a daycare that runs and operates as a registered business. A great daycare will have great bookkeeping and most likely will not close their doors without notice. You can also ask what their notice policy is.
3.) Insurance — Many parents do not realize that the daycare has not spent the time and money to obtain daycare insurance. Failure to have insurance means if something unspeakable happens, your child will not be compensated while in the care of the daycare. Unlicensed daycare is unable to obtain insurance.
4.) Make sure the daycare has— These are terms used to describe caregivers who run licensed daycares. There is a strict list that must be followed which includes: 20 hours or ECE education or 20 hours responsible Adult course. First Aid and CPR in young children, References, Criminal Record Check, Copy of Immunizations and Doctor’s note stating the person is able to work with kids.
5.) Always ask for proof! Your child is important. So make sure you ask to see and have copies of all daycare policies, insurance, certificates, and licenses. Also, a good quality daycare will give notice to clients when someone else begins working at the facility or home.
6.) Always make sure you get a contract with upfront rates. At times super low rates show that the daycare is struggling and to keep going must cut their costs just to get children. This is not always the case though, so make sure you do your homework.
7.) Visit the daycare in full swing to see how the providers are handling interaction with the children. Do not schedule this time. There should always be an OPEN DOOR policy. Do they hug the kids? Do they welcome them? Are they engaging with the kids?
8.) Safety is first. Make sure all TV’s and any heavy furniture is anchored to the wall. Ask about outings and field trips. Ask about outside time and who will be monitoring the kids outside. Are jackets being worn? Are kids playing on proper, safe and reliable playground equipment?
9.) Always talk to your child. Great daycares will provide a newsletter to parents and progress reports on how your individual child is doing in their program. Your children will be happy and want to go. Take your cues from them and keep the communication open and honest with your daycare provider.
10.) Licensed does not mean the daycare is safe! Good quality daycares get inspections, reports and you can ask to see them. This is so important because just because a daycare has a license does not mean the daycare is running responsibly.
11.) Talk to other parents. Not just parents that have their child at the daycare you are researching, but tell your friends and family. Do a search online for any negative feedback. It doesn’t always mean a daycare is unsafe, but cross your t’s and dot your I’s before choosing a safe and loving home for your child.
12.) Special Needs Children — Daycares that aid kids with special needs MUST have a Care Plan in place to ensure they reach their full potential. Government funding provides extra support to ensure the child gains what they need. If a daycare refuses to have a care plan, that is a hint something is not right.
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Talk to your local Community Services Programs, Child Development, and Child and Mental Health. Many of these community outreach programs have a list of qualified daycares that cater to every family’s needs.
For more information — http://www.healthspace.ca/fha/childcare
What do you look for when you are searching for a good daycare?