When it comes to child care for your kids, you want to feel confident that you are leaving your child in the trusting hands of a caregiver with your child’s best interest at heart. The reality is whether you choose a daycare, a babysitter, or an early education center, the child care provider you choose will spend more waking hours with your child than you will. It is important that whoever your child is spending their time with will nurture, teach them, and care for them the way that you would. When you are searching for the best local daycare for your child, there are a few things you should keep in mind. In today’s post, we will discuss five things to look for in your child’s daycare.

1. What do they offer?

Daycare should be more than just a place for your child to exist in your absence. Child care is not simply a means of keeping your child alive while you are away. A quality daycare should provide activities, safe play, an age-appropriate curriculum, and feedback for you about your child’s day. Ask what the daycare offers to ensure they are not simply exchanging your money for space for your child to sit.

2. Safe, clean toys.

Play is how children learn and develop. Play is both educational and the main source of entertainment for young children. When you visit a potential daycare, check out the toys they have. Are they educational? Are they clean? Are they age appropriate? Don’t be afraid to ask how they are cleaned and how often. Handle a few of them to check for residue and safety.

3. Staff interaction.

Pay close attention to staff interaction with the kids. Good daycare attendants will interact with the children on their level (usually on the ground). They should be know all the children’s names and can usually be seen holding at least one child. Pay attention to how they speak to the children, how close attention they are paying, and how they handle misbehaving children.

4. Screen time.

When you take a tour, look for televisions, computers, and tablets. If these things are present, ask or observe how they are used. Are they used to teach the older kids, or are they used to occupy the children’s time and attention. Screen time does not allow your child to express their creativity, establish social skills, or learn language. Many child care providers will use them to distract children so that they do not have to interact as much. Also, ask and observe about the cell phone policy for staff. The last thing you want is a distracted child care provider.

5. Trust your gut.

The last, and most important thing to keep in mind about the daycares you look into is to trust your gut. The facility may be the cleanest and the snacks they provide may be the healthiest, but if something just doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. You don’t have to have a good reason when it comes to opting not to choose a daycare, after all, it is your child.

Notice that price and hours were not on the above list. That is not to say those things are not important. There are many things that are important when it comes to caring for your child, and more suggestions will be discussed in our next post. The most important things are how your child will be treated and cared for.

At Just For Kids, LLC, we take your child’s safety education, and wellbeing seriously. We offer a variety of age-appropriate programs to fit your family’s schedule. When you need someone to nurture your child while you are working, trust the expert child care providers at Just For Kids in Chicago. Contact us to schedule a tour and enroll your child today!