When Elisha and Elyssa were 1 and 2, I unexpectedly became a single mother. I was forced to start looking for work outside the home and, therefore, place the girls on a child care facility in Naples. We were new town, zero relatives, and only one friend (who didn’t have children).
It was a terrifying decision, so I educated myself as much as I could to make the experience NOT terrifying.
These tips can help you if you are nervous about enrolling your child in a child care facility:
- Decide Your Priorities. Cost and location shouldn’t be at the top of the list. Consider factors like supervision, sanitation, discipline, safety, and special needs.
- Ask People You Trust. Relatives, close friends, and people in your church may have valuable recommendations and experiences you cannot find on the child care center’s website or brochures.
- Walk Into The Child Center To Arrange An Appointment. I stopped by unannounced and thoroughly interviewed my child care center. I observed everything in the room, focusing on how happy and cared for the children seemed. Trust your gut!
Here are some questions you may include on your checklist:
- Do children look happy?
- Are activities age-appropriate?
- Are the toys clean and safe?
- Is the location safe and the outdoor area fenced-in?
- How often do children play outdoors?
- What is their discipline and conflict resolution policy?
- Is there a child sexual abuse prevention program in place?
- Do children receive individual attention?
- Are the snacks nutritional?
- Are children independent and able to make choices?
- Are daily reports provided to parents?
- Are parents encouraged to drop in at any time?
- Are reference and background checks performed on all staff?
- Is the program licensed or accredited?
- What are the rates? / Are there any additional fees?/ Financial aid?
Once you find the right child care facility for your child, make sure to visit from time to time, volunteer your time when you have a chance, and develop a close relationship with your child’s caregiver.