Thinking about child care and which option to go for can be such a stressful time for parents. Some of us have wonderful family members that are able to take care of our children and some of us have to entrust others to do so.
As a daycare supervisor of a licensed child care centre I will be talking mainly about child care and how to make the right decision for your family should you choose a license centre route.
First thing is first, choose if you would like a child care closer to home or to work. I usually stress this out because if you work far from home I am sure you do not want a crying baby in the car during rush hour. Some find closer to home more accessible should another individual need to pick up your child (i.e grandparents ). I personally think closer to home is better as home seems to be your start and end point to the day, it is easier for the other parent to pick up should you be running late or simply sharing drop off and pick up.
The next step is checking out which centres are closest to your location, I encourage tours! go in and meet with the supervisor, get a sense for the centre. This part it so important as it is going to make or break your decision. I always like to go in and be prepared with questions to ask about the centre.
There are great sites with amazing questions out there, the most popular question that parents ask during a tour are;
- What is the classroom ratio
- How many Registered Early Childhood Educators in the potential room
- ASK FOR A PARENT HANDBOOK – it should be very detailed and label everything for you. Important policies and procedures that are in place.
- Would I be able to do visitation with my child?
- Vacation discount?
- Staff turn over, specifically in the child’s potential class.
These are some of the popular questions parents usually ask during a tour. As a parent myself I encourage you to check out the ministry of education website, the child care centres last inspection will be posted and you will be able to view their non-compliances as well of the ministry of health to check out the last health inspection. It is important to view this information, I suggest checking a minimum of 2 years of inspections. This will give you a better understanding on the centres challenges. Please use this information as a guideline when making a decision.
Once you have done some tours, the ones that stand out to you are the ones you may want to consider. I always suggest going with your gut and the centre you felt most comfortable during the tour. Some centres provide visitation before registration or after so please find out this information and take advantage of this! it is your time to hang around the centre and really get a feel for the teachers teaching style. This will help with the transition into a centre.
KEEP IN MIND SOME CENTRES DO NOT TAKE INFANT CHILDREN – there is usually a waitlist at centres who offer infant care as most centres start their program at 15 or 18 months.
If this is your childs first time in daycare you may want to consider transitioning them slowly into their new classroom. Remember these teachers and other children are strangers to your child and it is important to ensure your child builds those lasting relationships.
Once you have made a decision you can go ahead and register with that centre
Most centres require their registration forms filled out along with immunization and a deposit. All centres have different policies towards deposit, so make sure you get the information from the centre. Most centres offer auto withdrawal payments, which is easier to do!
Always make sure you read and understand the parent handbook as if you ever are in a dis-agreement with the centre they will always refer you to the policies in the handbook.
Please keep in mind this blog is written for guidance only. should you have any questions regarding child care please feel free to contact us any one of our locations will be more than happy to assist you.