Tips for Before You Choose a Day Care or Preschool for Your Child

There are lots of people out there who are offering you top-notch care for your child, for a price, of course. And quite likely, that price is exorbitant. While they appear to actually care for your child–at least on the surface, the more time your kid spends there, one thing becomes apparent: They are merely in it for the financial advancement they can get out of it.
Yet there are signs, or red flags, as with anything else, that you usually see, but don’t see, in choosing a day care. Have you really checked it out? Do they comply with teacher student ratio at Teddy Kids Kinderdagverblijf? Is it clean? Are the teachers competent? Are they able to live up to their job description of being teachers, or are they merely babysitters? Are they patient? Are they likely to hit your child when they become exasperated? And if the day care has been around for awhile, and are part of a daycare chain–what is their standing on the Better Business Bureau website? Any complaints on such sites as Angie’s List? All these concerns need to be thoroughly checked out. Also, parents, I urge you to network with other moms and dads, asking them what their experiences have been.

First, let’s talk about student-teacher ratio. I’m not sure what it is for my state, but state laws are in place to prevent one teacher from having too many children in their care. This is for safety reasons. One instructor cannot look after thirty crawling toddlers. That is physically impossible. God help the teacher responsible for that many rugrats. Little Dustin could get into something and badly hurt himself while the lead teacher is helping out little Dawn. Then Dustin’s dad could come in and hold the entire daycare liable.

Second, is the daycare kept clean? Very important, since we are dealing with viruses as potent and deadly as the Swine Flu this year. Indeed, there are new strains coming in, and they are saying that it may not be until the middle or end of October of this year that vaccines may be available. Do the workers in the daycare wash their hands after going potty? Well, honestly, there’s probably no way to check that out. But if there’s a way to find out how many of the workers call in sick, and for how long, and how often, you better jump on that train!

Third, are the teachers there really teachers? I mean, are they actually apt to teach? Or are they merely babysitters? One function of a good daycare is to prepare kids for kindergarten. The teachers there need to be adept at teaching social skills, as well as basic reading and writing skills. At the daycare Mrs. Koolbreeze works at, she must come up with a theme, and sometimes even a lesson plan. The theme can be something having to do with a month, and a holiday that month is best known for.

You ask, “How do I know if there are actually teachers at the daycare I’m interested in, or if they are merely babysitters who warehouse the kidlets while their parents are away for the day?” Well, it’s best to ask the daycare director what he or she expects of his teachers. Take notes–it’s your money, parents! It’s also good to Google the state requirements, and to see how the expectations of the director of that daycare stack up.

Also, research that daycare. Ask questions of other parents, if at all possible. Has there been evidence of corporal punishment? Mind you, I am, as many of you know, an advocate of a good buttwhipping. But I also believe it’s the parent of that child who should administer it, and not some stranger. And in most states, it is also illegal. With that in mind, then, has there been any instances of this?

Gotta tell you, on Monday, July 6, 1970, my first day at a certain daycare in Detroit, I encountered a situation where I accidentally spilled juice all over myself. I was just four. I’ll never forget, that teacher came over, undressed me, and gave me a paddling I will never forget. Needless to say, she was done with that daycare! No sooner did she hear about it that she came and got me. I did not return to that nursery school, as they were called in those days.

Parents, you need to be careful who you allow to take care of your children. For if there is physical violence, or inappropriate touching there of any kind, it could have an impact on that little person for life. You, the parent, are responsible for guarding and protecting that child. You must make an informed decision. Please listen to your gut. If it tells you that you can’t trust these people, follow it!

Am I writing this to say that all daycares are bad? A thousand times No. But what I am doing is to say, just as you would a potential marriage partner, scope it out. For the kind of money you’re required to pay, you should hang in there for a child care centre that will be a perfect fit for you, the parent, the customer.

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