Tag Archive | "daycare center"

Signs of A Good Daycare Center

Now that you have decided that a daycare center is the best child care option for your toddler, your next task is to scout for a good daycare center. But with all the options available, how will you know which one is the best among the rest? Here are some factors you should look for.

Excellent Reputation

A daycare center must have a good reputation. It should have a pleasant, warm atmosphere and be recognized for its nurturing environment. Chat up one or two parents whose children are going to the daycare during your visit. If they have high praises for the center, then most probably it is a good establishment and your toddler will enjoy going to it as well. Also, a good daycare center should have the proper certification and licenses. It must meet the state licensing rules for health and safety. A daycare that has been accredited by NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) is a good bet in terms of quality.

Qualified Staff

A good daycare center must have a qualified, compassionate staff. The staff must have adequate training about early childhood development, first aid, CPR and emergency preparedness. Having these trainings assures parents that their children will be in good hands while they are away.

A Low Child-to-Staff Ratio

The number of children and staff in a daycare center plays a huge factor in determining the effectiveness of a daycare center. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, a daycare center should have a 1:3 ratio or 1 staff member for every 3 toddlers for children ages 1 to 2 while for children ages 2 to 4, 1:5 (1 caregiver for every 5 toddlers) is the recommended ratio.

Firm and Positive Policies

Every daycare center has its own rules. Look for a daycare center that has a good discipline style, one that will never use corporal punishment. The establishment must also have a detailed outline of emergency procedures, flexible pick up and drop off location and schedule and a strict sick-child policy.

Stimulating Program

The purpose of daycare centers is to educate toddlers, not act as a “storage unit”. A good daycare center should bring out the best in toddlers. Hence, a structured curriculum that includes plenty of time for physical activity, group and individual activities, quiet time, snack time and free period are necessary.

Clean and Safe Environment

The building should be safe or childproofed and well-ventilated and lit. The area should be clean, especially the toilets. Waste bins should not be left sitting unemptied. Play area should have child-friendly equipments.

Top-notch Security

Security must be a major priority to a daycare center. The establishment must make sure that each toddler and parent or guardian has an identification card. Children should not be capable of leaving the building and unauthorized individuals should not be allowed to enter the building under any circumstances.

Finding a good daycare center is not easy. You may think this is impossible to achieve, but with a little time and effort, you will be able to find one that will make you and your toddler happy.

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Ways To Prepare Your Toddler For Daycare Center

Worried how your toddler will react during his first day at the daycare center? Here are some effective tips to prepare your toddler for daycare so you can put your mind and your toddler’s mind at ease.

Talk About It

Keep in mind that children do not handle change very well. Talk to your toddler about the upcoming changes – where he will be going, what he will be doing and who will be with him. When he knows what is coming next, he is less likely to revolt. Do this casually, say for example, over dinner or during his bath time and state it in a matter of fact tone as opposed to an inquiry. Stating it will help your toddler start to deal with it faster. Do not ignore his fears, acknowledge them and explain. Be positive and share your own memories when you started daycare. Tell him all about the new friends, experiences and things you did and he will do.

Another tip is to read stories or watch videos about a toddler starting daycare. This way, he will realize that he is not alone which will make it easier for him to accept the change.

Visit The Daycare Center Together

Weeks before classes start, tour the daycare center with your toddler a few times. This will help your little one get acquainted with the surrounding, his future teacher and the people who will be looking after him and his classmates. These visits increases your toddler’s comfort and confidence in this new setting.

Increase Social Interaction

If your toddler is not used to being around children, he might have trouble adjusting and relating with other children in the daycare. Set up play dates to help your little one get used to being a part of a group. Invite your neighbour’s kids over to your house and give them group activities such as obstacle course, collage making or role playing. Enroll him in a music or swimming class.

Adjust Your Toddler’s Schedule

Find out the daycare center’s schedule so you can adjust your toddler’s daily schedule. Your toddler may usually eat lunch at 11 in the morning but when daycare starts, lunch may not be until 12 noon. As much as possible, try to get his body used to these changes. Follow their feeding time, naptime and playtime but do it gradually to avoid confusing your toddler.

Bring Special Items From Home

Stop your toddler from breaking down during the first day of class by letting him bring something from home. Having a comfort object such as a stuffed toy, blanket, a shirt with your scent on it or a small photo album with pictures of family members can help toddlers in a new daycare situation.

Have A Goodbye Ritual

Being away from you for the first time may make him think that you are not coming back. Create a special parting ritual like a high-five, a hug and kiss, letting him face the window and wave until your are out of sight or saying something like, “I will be back before you know it.” or “See you later alligator.”. And oh, never sneak out without saying goodbye. This will only upset your toddler when he realizes you are gone.

Starting daycare can be tough for your toddler. But, with your assistance and undying support, you can help ease your little one’s fears so he can start his first day of daycare with a big smile on his face.

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