Choosing child care is hands-down one of the most important decisions that a family can make. Have you been struggling through the selection process? The relationship your child shares with a caregiver can affect how they feel about themselves and the world around them, making the choice to find the ‘best child care near me’ even more important.
There’s a lot of things that go into choosing great care for your child. We’ve broken it down into questions you can ask any potential school or childcare organization to make sure they are the right fit.
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11 Questions To Help Find The Right Childcare Near Me
If you’re feeling stressed about finding suitable childcare options for your family, you’ve come to the right place. Let us help you find a place that feels comfortable and aligns with your own parenting philosophies. Here’s a list of questions to ask childcare providers to help you get started so you can relax a little!
General Questions To Find Great Childcare Near Me
Here is a brief list of questions to get you started and help narrow down your childcare options:
What does the daily schedule look like?
Find out what the daily schedule looks like early on, as daycares and preschools can vary considerably in this regard. Some centers are highly structured, while others operate more freely and have an all-day free play model. It comes down to your personal preference, but you’ll want to get a sense of what your child will be doing all day.
How many students vs. caretakers will there be?
You’re likely already aware that the demand for childcare is high, and it can be easy for these centers to get overwhelmed with too many students. Address the ratio of students to caretakers early, so you know that the place you choose has the resources to meet your child’s physical and emotional needs.
Are the students separated by age?
In many cases, childcare options start from infancy right up to the first day of kindergarten. But because the needs of a 6-month-old are very different from those kids who are four years old, it’s good to check how the center handles kids of various ages. Is there a system in place to help the staff manage all the children so that no one gets left behind?
What is your approach to discipline?
This is a pretty important one. You can tell a lot about a provider’s general philosophy by how they choose to discipline the kids under their care. Do they raise their voice? Are time-outs used and how do those work? Are there punishments or consequences? All parents handle their own children differently, but it’s good to get a general sense of how the “childcare near me” handles your children when they misbehave.
How do you comfort children when they inevitably get upset?
In addition to discipline, you should ask all potential caregivers how they handle distressed children. Different daycare facilities handle tantrums and crying children differently. It’s essential to ask any prospective caregivers how they interact with and soothe a distressed child. Do they hold your child until they are soothed? Are they experts at distracting and finding a new way to make your child happy?
Visiting the center will give you the opportunity to see teachers and caregivers in action. The right caregiver will be able to prioritize and show compassion to students in need.
Will my child get outside playtime?
Several benefits come with active outside playtime. Though not all childcare providers have outdoor spaces, make sure they provide other opportunities to visit playgrounds or local parks on a regular basis.
Pandemic and COVID-Related Questions
Here are a few questions you should ask in regards to the ongoing pandemic:
- How do you screen staff and students? Is there a plan in place to check symptoms or temperatures?
- What is your process for regularly cleaning and disinfecting learning materials, toys, and the general facility?
- Has your staff participated in training regarding necessary legal protocols and guidelines? How are you enforcing those protocols?
- In the event of a suspected or confirmed case within the childcare community, how will you share that information, and what information will you share?
- What will my child’s learning environment look like? For example, are there fewer shared indoor spaces?
When you want vetted childcare, the Family Advisers at PreK.com can help, at no cost to you. You’re not just looking for “the best childcare near me,” you’re looking for the right fit for your child and your daily lifestyle. The team at PreK.com will take the time to get to know your family’s needs and help you make this critical decision.
They vet daycare and preschool centers as if they would be comfortable sending their own children there. If a school doesn’t pass PreK.com’s in-depth screening process, you won’t see it on the platform. Want to learn more? Get started here.