Screening a Child Care Provider

How to Screen a Day Care or Child Care Provider

You are getting ready to head back to work after your maternity leave is over, but now you must make a decision on what kind of day care or child care provider to hire to take care of your new baby. Parents these days want to make sure the person or place they hire to take care of their precious children is safe and secure, and who can blame them?

Here are some things you should do when screening a day care center or a child care provider for your children:

Find out if the person or facility is certified and/or accredited—this is vital if you want your child to be safe. Anyone who provides care for children should have certification in First Aid, as well as in CPR in case of any emergency. It is also a good idea if they are certified in Early Childhood Development. Plus, you want them to have all of the required licenses for your state. If any of this is missing, then pass on that person and go on to the next day care center on your list.

Ask if background checks are conducted on everyone at the facility – Parents can’t be too sure these days who is working with or around their kids. That’s why you should insist that background checks are done on everyone, whether it is the janitor or the person who actually takes care of your baby. After all, these people are unknown to you and you want the safest and secure environment for your baby as possible.

There is no such thing as being too careful when screening a potential child care provider. After all, this is a stranger with whom you’re entrusting your children. It’s a scary thought in some ways, but when the relationship works, it provides for a safe and nurturing environment for kids and more flexibility for parents. In the end, it’s often your instinct (gut feeling) that will guide you to a provider who is not only qualified, but is the right fit with your family.

Be cautious if you are considering using a babysitter co-op

It’s nice to save money, but if you are considering using a service that shares babysitting or daycare duties amongst a group of neighbors, be very cautious! They may not all have proper First Aid training or they may not have very much experience and you also can’t control who goes into the home and who your child might be exposed to! This sort of care might be better for older children who are capable of letting you know what goes on every day, but not for infants.

Ask about staff to child ratios of care and other important factors

It is also recommended that parents always ask about how the day care runs and be careful with things like the ratio of providers to the amount of kids, because you want personalized care for your child. You don’t want him or her lying all day in a wet or dirty diaper!

Also, be sure to ask about the reputation of the center and how they handle emergencies such as sick kids or other issues. Plus, if your child is older, ask about things like daily activities and if they provide any sort of early learning program for toddlers, etc.

Be sure to visit the center and stay to see how it is run

When trying to decide if you want to place your child into a specific day care center, be sure to spend a day or at least a few hours at the center and watch it in action. This will give you a better idea as to whether it is the type of environment you want your child to spend 8-10 hours a day!

Talk to other parents who are there dropping off or picking up their kids and get their feelings and opinions on the place. If other parents are giving it glowing reviews, then it may be a good place, but if they seem hesitant, then it’s probably not somewhere you want your child to be.

Don’t use the first place you find

You need to not be in a rush to choose the very first day care or babysitter on your list just because you need to get back to work. You should even start looking while you are still pregnant, as this will make your search calmer and not so desperate. If you are in the frame of mind that you must find a day care option, then you may not be as diligent in choosing one.

Make a list of all the available options and be sure to put down the pros and cons of each one. Then, you can interview people at each of them, as well as interview parents that go there, and once you have done all this background work, you will be in a better situation for choosing a safe and secure place for your child to spend his or her day.

Children are very precious and they should be kept safe and protected. You want their time at a day care center or with a baby sitter to be as rewarding and safe as possible. If you must work every day and leave your child at one of these places, be sure to screen them carefully and choose the one that is best for your precious baby.

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