Leaving your child in the hands of another caregiver is one of the biggest choices you’ll make. Choosing a great provider can enhance your child’s life, development, and health.
Choosing a provider that puts them in danger, or does not care for them properly can endanger their health and well-being.
Look for Personal Interaction
Childcare is a person’s job. It’s not just about making sure your child has a place to go, gets fed, or their diaper changed. Children require interaction and close attention. Babies require affection and need warm, personal time to strive.
Be sure that your chosen provider, whether it is a babysitter, daycare, or in-home provider has the capacity and means to give your child the personalized attention they need. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that for every three babies up to 24 months, that there be one adult caregiver to provide adequate care.
Consistency is Important
Children feel more secure and develop healthy attachments to providers when they are stable and consistent. Be sure to choose providers that have been in business for a period of time and providers that plan to continue childcare for the length that you need it.
Ask questions at childcare centers, including their turnover rate, how often they have staff turnover, what their hiring practices are, and what types of background checks they run during the hiring process.
Know The Schedule on Procedures
Ask your provider to give you a list of their policies and procedures. These should include their disciplinary policies, the amount of TV time and content your child will be exposed to, as well as, what drinks, meals, and snacks are provided.
For older children, find out if they provide homework help, and also know their policies regarding illnesses. Be sure that they will notify you if any child exposes your child to a contagious illness such as headlice, or chicken pox. Also ask if you will be given a breakdown of their schedule including mealtimes, nap time, and activities.
Trust Your Instincts and Know the Facts
Especially when choosing an in-home or home-care provider, be sure to do your due diligence. Ask for references, perform background checks, and be sure to check over any care areas for child-safety. Once you have hired a provider, keep the lines of communication open and make unannounced visits on a regular basis.
Listen to your children. Even infants will display signs of unhappiness if they are not being properly cared for. Talk to your provider about any concerns and be sure they are communicating with you about your child on a regular basis.