6 important things you should know when choosing your child's daycare

To place your child, your angel, under someone else’s care is probably the hardest decision we as parents have to take. As working moms, we sometimes have to put our babies as soon as our maternity leave ends (short as it may be).

The concept of “Daycares” (Garderies) has changed drastically in the past years. It is no longer acceptable for anyone to open a Daycare with the intention just to keep the keep children watching TV or unstructured play until the parents finish work.

From birth a child’s brain requires stimulation. The first 3 years of life are a period of amazing growth in all areas of a baby’s development.  By the age of 3, a child’s brain will have grown dramatically by producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections, or synapses, between these cells. When a child’s brain is stimulated its growth progresses…and unfortunately it will regress if not stimulated in these vital early stages of life…

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So educate yourselves Super Moms. Ask the right questions. Find the best place for your angel to grow while he is away from you.

1- Group Size: 

Ask how many children there are for each adult. The fewer the children for each adult, the better for your child. You want your child to get plenty of attention. The younger your child, the more important this is.

Preferable Guidelines:

Babies under 18 months:  1:4 (one adult for four infants)

18 months to 30 months: 1:5 (one adult for 5 toddlers)

30 months till 4 yrs:  1:8 (one adult for 8 children)

2- Caregiver Qualifications:

 Ask about the caregivers’ training and education. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to help your child learn.

  • Are the caregivers involved in activities to improve their skills?
  • Do they attend classes, training and workshops? What does it entail and how frequently?
  • Do they know BASIC PEDIATRIC FIRST AID?

3- Employee Turnover:

Check how long caregivers have been at the center. It’s best if children stay with the same caregiver at least a year. Caregivers who come and go make it hard on your child. Getting used to new caregivers takes time and energy that could be spent learning new things.

Is there one caregiver at least per class who is a mom?

 

4- Accreditation & Educational system.

Find out if the child care provider has been accredited by the Ministry of Public Health or if they have any International Accreditation. Providers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than most state licensing requirements.

What educational system they are following is also a very important question to ask. (Child Centered methods where teachers are facilitators are preferable to allow children to explore and grow). 

5- Sanitization & Cleaning.

How often do they sanitize and clean toys, instruments, bed sheets etc. Ask them what their methods are – go into details:

  • How frequently are toilets cleaned?
  • Changing tables?
  • Do they spray Anti-Bacterial after every group of kids leave the play area?
  • Do they clean play surfaces, how many times during the day?
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6- Food Preparation.

How and what methods are being followed. They should be under the same watchful eye as restaurants are becoming – but under stricter rules because they are feeding our angels.

Check the menu:

  • How is the menu variety? Is there a balance between processed food versus organic.
  • Are  foods rich in sugar served? Do they offer Fruits?
  • Do they offer water to the kids? If yes check where they store the water bottles , are they exposed to the sun?
But most importantly Super moms follow your instinct.

A special thank you to Super Mom, Lamice Joujou, owner of Dent De Lait Daycare and Children’s Center, who contributed to this post to help Super Moms in knowing how to choose their angel’s daycare institution.

 


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Super Mama Lebanon

Mom of 3 Living in Beirut, Lebanon

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