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Education Connection
Preschool Pg.2

Choosing the best for our children
Finding the right child care solution for your child is important, not just for your childís development, but for your own peace of mind. Here are some tips to help you make a choice thatís perfect for your situation.

1. Decide which day-care option is best suited to your family. What kind of daycare is available? Do you need someone to come into your home and is that affordable in your area? Is a provider who works out of their own home for you? Would a day-care center, either private or government run, be best?

2. Ask around. Family, friends, your pediatrician, fellow church members and anyone else you trust can be the best source of referrals to a good day-care provider. You can narrow the field by conducting phone interviews

3. Do an onsite inspection. Checking the potential day-care environment is critical to making the right decision. Do your homework

4. Make a trial run. Let your baby try out a potential day-care provider. If you can also spend a few hours with the provider at different times over a few days before making that final decision, that would be even better.

5. Above all, use your instincts. If something doesnít seem quite right or if you think theyíre putting on a show for you, make several visits (some unannounced).
Even after you select the day-care provider watch and observe your child. Does he seem happy and content and willing to return to daycare? A certain amount of grumbling is to be expected from a child who doesn't want to be separated from a parent. Excessive complaining might mean that your child is trying to communicate to you that he or she does not wish to return to that place. Donít dismiss it. Find out why your child is behaving in that manner.

Handing over your child to a stranger can be one of the most difficult things you ever do, and sometimes it doesnít work out right away.

It is up to the adults to ensure that the atmosphere your child is being raised in while away from home is similar to the safe and nourishing environment you provide at home!

Interview questions for day-care provider

How long have you been in business?

How many children are you licensed to care for?

Do you have a minimum age requirement?

What are your hours of operation?

What are your fees? When are they payable?

What activities are planned for babies? Toddlers? Preschoolers?

What do you do in case of an emergency?

Is the staff certified in CPR and first aid?

Do you have procedures in place for contacting parents?

What happens if my child must be taken to the hospital?

Is refrigerator space available for storing expressed breastmilk or prepared formula in bottles?

Will you prepare formula for the baby?

What kinds of meals are older children served?

Are parents encouraged to get involved?

What is your philosophy when it comes to child rearing?

How is discipline handled?

How much extra will I be charged if Iím late picking up my child?

Will you provide receipts for income-tax credit?

What references can you give me?

Things to consider during onsite visit
Do the children look happy?

Are you comfortable in this atmosphere?

Would you like to spend all day here?

Is the facility well lit and ventilated?

Does the facility appear to be safe and clean?

Are there adequate bathroom facilities?

Is there an enclosed outdoor area where children can play safely?

Is there a comfortable place for you to breastfeed if you drop in over your lunch hour?

When the providers interact with the children, does everyone appear happy?

Are babies cuddled and talked to while being fed their bottles?

Do staff members show the children encouragement and provide positive reinforcement?

Are you comfortable with the staff-to-child ratio?

When the caregivers physically handle a child, such as when diapering, are they gentle?

How do staff members calm a crying child?

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