Are you looking for a daycare center? You want affordable options with high-quality workers at a location that is as close to your home or work as humanly possible. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, right? If you’ve already started, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the choices or lack of options. It’s hard to find a place to send your child that you can really trust.
Relax! We’re here to help make the search for the right “daycare near me” a little less stressful. We’ve created a list of traits that all outstanding daycare centers will have to help you narrow it down.
Searching For A Daycare Near Me? 8 Things A Great Daycare Has
The first tip we can give is to start early! Especially if you live in a large city, you’ll want to start as early as possible to get the best choices for you and your baby’s needs. Here are a few things that every great daycare has.
Every fantastic daycare will have positive reviews that form the basis of its outstanding reputation. However, we think it goes beyond simply reading online reviews. See if you can get the center to provide you with references, and be sure to ask your friends and family which centers they’ve loved (and hated!).
An Interesting and Varied Curriculum
Do you want your child to have a loose and fluid schedule, or would you prefer a more school-like environment based on a rigid environment with a fixed curriculum? Look for a daycare center that aligns with your personal preferences and your child’s needs.
Skilled teachers and daycare providers will have a balance between essential learning outcomes and fun challenges that pertain to your child’s interests. You’ll want to find a program that will support your children in and out of the classroom and prepare them for future success.
Qualified Caregivers Who Want To Be There
One thing that all great daycare centers have is qualified caregivers that actually care. Ensure they have the basic qualifications and training, but you can learn a lot simply by observing. Listen to how they speak to the children, and take note of their body language.
Additionally, listen to your own instincts. How comfortable do you feel with the caregivers? Are they communicative and eager to partner with you? Does it seem like they actually care about the kids and their education?
Happy Kids In A Stimulating Environment
You’ll feel the vibe right when you walk in the door. First impressions can give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. Does the daycare seem vibrant, clean, and fun? The environment should be homey, welcoming, and feel diverse and inclusive.
Next, observe the kids. Are they happy? Do they seem engaged and stimulated? Are they excited about being there? Do they have choices? Does it seem like they are learning and growing in a positive way?
Now, imagine your child there. How does that image make you feel?
Established Policies and Consistent Rules
When searching for a “daycare near me,” you’ll want to look for a center that has established, written-down operating policies.
You’ll be able to spot a well-organized and consistent daycare center right away. These policies will be significant when dealing with emergency situations or sick children.
A Safe and Clean Environment
A safe and clean environment might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to visit the center before officially enrolling your child. The best daycare centers will go above and beyond to ensure your child’s safety. This includes food safety practices, childproofing, a well-kept play space, and constant supervision.
A few things to watch for:
- Covers on electrical outlets
- Window blind strings out of reach
- Blocked stairs
- Clean toys in excellent condition
- Cleaning supplies secured and out of the way
- Appropriate toys and stimulus items
Need Help Finding A Great Daycare Near Me?
Overall, the best “daycare near me” will have that magical combination of everything you’re looking for and also follows some of the above traits. You want to feel secure and even happy about leaving your child there every day. The best daycares become a home away from home for your child, so you want to make sure everyone is excited about the decision.
When you need help finding a suitable daycare option in your area, try an expert online service like PreK.com. It’s more than just an online search tool. Family Advisers evaluate all daycare and childcare choices and make sure only the best are available for you. They do the heavy lifting when it comes to research, so you can rest assured knowing that the daycare you choose is excellent. You can even use PreK.com to get customized recommendations, book tours, apply to schools, and send enrollment documents!