Becoming a parent can be a life changing experience. Every decision that you make will be for the best interest of your child; from what kind of diapers to use to what college he or she will attend.
In today’s society most parents work; therefore, you need to choose who will take care of your child’s needs whether one parent decides to stay home or place the child in daycare. Feelings of guilt may sometimes arise when choosing to place them in the hands of another caregiver. Thoughts like “You should be the one caring for your child not someone else” or “You’re not spending enough quality time with them” or “You’re missing out on all their little accomplishments while you’re away” might flood your mind. Well, there is good news! Instead of focusing on those negative feelings, focus on helping your child grow and learn in a daycare environment that is positive and safe, one that will benefit him/her. Each stage your child goes through will influence and shape their character. It’ll help them develop who they’ll become in the future. Wouldn’t you want your child to be confident, sensitive, fair, and friendly to everyone? Of course, you do!

To help you choose a daycare that is right for you and your child, here’s a list of questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is the daycare recognized by the government?
  • Do they have clear rules and regulations in their policies?
  • Does it look clean and hygienic?
  • How do they handle care and discipline of the children?
  • Is the staff qualified in early childhood education?
  • Are they sensitive and responsive to the needs of those in their care?
  • Are they trained in first aid?
  • Are they enthusiastic, welcoming and responsible?
  • Are toys and equipment safe?
  • Is the playground in an enclosed area?
  • Is the daycare secure?
  • What is the menu like?
  • Where do the children take their nap?
  • Is there an educational program that involves age appropriate activities that nurture and enhance each area (language, social and emotional skills, cognitive learning, gross and fine motor skills)?
  • What are the daily routines?
  • What kind of fieldtrips or events takes place during the year?
  • Can a parent visit the premises before making a decision to register the child?
  • Is there an open communication between parent and daycare provider?
These are just a few examples of what you might ask and look for in a daycare, but the bottom line is, where do you feel comfortable leaving your child for the day? And, does your child feel comfortable there, too? Keep in mind, children are not all the same and they adapt and integrate differently and at different times, so you cannot always predict how they will react to daycare.

Daycare does not replace what you as a parent can give to your child, so don’t forget to spend some scheduled time with your child every day. It could be moments at the breakfast table or reading a story before bedtime. Hugs and kisses are always welcomed!

Remember, being a good parent involves making a wise choice for everyone involved. Choosing a daycare that fits your needs and that of your child takes time, effort, and patience. So don’t rush into it, take your time and start making memories to last a lifetime.