5 Questions You Should Always Ask
Leaving your child in the care of another can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. It can be even harder if you are not 100% positive you’re making the right choice. For this reason, it is imperative you are always asking the right questions to ensure your kids are going to get the most out of their daycare experience based on your family’s needs.
Listening to your child scream and cry because they don’t want you to leave can be bad enough, but not being confident you are leaving them in the care of someone trustworthy is a whole other uneasy feeling. Ensure your little ones, and yourself are handing them off to a caring staff by staying informed.
5 Questions to Always Ask Before Choosing a Daycare
When it comes to asking questions before enrolling your child into any daycare facility, there are some crucial questions you want to ask. Never be afraid of asking too many questions or asking the “wrong” questions. There is nothing more important than keeping your kids safe, and there is no such thing as being “rude” when interviewing those who will be spending the most time with them throughout the day.
What is Your Daily Routine?
A consistent routine is something every child benefits from. It helps them learn to follow healthy schedules, encourages positive habits, and helps alleviate anxiety and heavy emotions. When your kid knows what to expect, the day away is going to be much easier on them.
Aside from the benefits of routine. You also what to know what the daycare is doing for and with your child each day they attend. This will help you decide which option is best for your family.
Some topics to discuss should include:
- Education- Will your child get some form of education while attending this facility?
- Nap Time- Does the daycare offer nap time? What time is it typically held, and for how long?
- Mealtimes- Should you feed your kids before you leave the house, right after they get home? How are allergies addressed? Are meals healthy? Do you send in snacks, etc.?
What Does Discipline Look Like at this Facility?
Whether we like to hear it or not, many children will have to be disciplined at some point during the time they are away from us. Whether your child is still learning how to share or is going through a “biting phase,” the need for punishment is almost inevitable.
What you shouldn’t have to deal with is surprises or faults when it comes to how these situations are handled. What you want to hear from anyone taking care of kids is that they discipline with,
- Gentle Consequences- removing the toy causing the fight, verbally communicating (we don’t bite), or for older toddlers providing “cooldown time.)
- Transparent Expectations- Rules and expectations need to be explained to the kids and understood. Visual reminders should be everywhere to help enforce these rules.
- Enforce with Positivity– According to Child Psychologist Dr Elizabeth Berger, harsh language, ” harsh language, shame, and degradation should never, ever be a part of a day care’s approach to disciplining children.” It is better to reward good behavior than to punish the bad.
How is Your Staff Chosen?
You should know the qualifications of every staff member who encounters your child in the daycare they attend. Whether it is their teacher, substitute, or monitor. Make sure they are up to date on state regulations, CPR certification; background checks were completed, etc.
You have the right to know who is taking care of your kids when you are not around. You should also ask what the child-to-staff ratio is and make sure it is within state limits and feels comfortable to you. If you are not sure what the regulations are for your state, consider taking a look at Ratios and Group Sizes | Childcare.gov.
What is the Parent’s Involvement?
Parents should always be welcomed into any daycare their child attends. Most daycares will hold parent nights or open houses. If your child goes to a school where holidays are celebrated, you want the ability to share some of these festivities with them.
Another thing to consider is how involved parents are in the day-to-day process. Some questions you might want to consider asking your facility include,
- Can you get daily feedback?
- Are there online apps to track your child’s progress or behavior?
- Are there days and times you can “help out”?
- What are other ways you can be part of your child’s curriculum?
- Are all disciplinary actions or injuries documented?
What Does Mealtime Look Like?
Mealtime can be a battle for picky eaters or dangerous for those with allergies. When you are interviewing potential daycares, make sure you understand what foods are provided, if you can send in a pre-packaged lunch, and what types of snacks kids get daily. If your family follows a specific diet or won’t eat certain foods, let the daycare know and be firm.
You also want to make sure mealtime is at the same time every day. Aside from schedules being important. This information can help you determine whether or not to provide breakfast before leaving the house or know when the right time provides dinner after picking them up.
When choosing the perfect daycare for your child, you hold power. It is your responsibility and right to make ask the questions and expect transparent and honest answers. Along with asking essential questions, always trust your instincts. Nobody knows what’s best for your kids than you.