What to Look For in Daycares

By Rebecca Norris

When it comes to looking for quality childcare for your child, it’s important to understand that it is not only a major decision for the now, but it’s something that will impact your child’s future.

According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, “Research shows us that by three years of age, a child’s brain develops about 90 percent of its capacity. External child care is most often used for children between the ages of birth through four years old, when the majority of the brain is developing.” Therefore it’s essential to take your time to consider all of the factors of the center in order to ultimately make a final decision.

But how do we factor everything in? According to Child Care Aware of Virginia, there are four main things to do when looking for quality daycare for your child. Look for your first impression because when it comes down to it, your child’s early development depends upon how good the caregiver is that you choose and you need to go with your gut instincts. Then think about what the childcare setting sounds like; do the children sound happy? Do the caregivers sound patient and understanding? When it comes to counting, look at the child to teacher ratio of the classes; the smaller the class, the more attention and guidance your child will receive. Lastly, CCA emphasizes how important it is for the adults to ask the care providers questions that ensure that they know how to provide the degree of attention that the child needs. Whether it’s medication knowledge, background checks, special training or whether or not the provider is accredited, it’s essential to ask as many questions as you feel necessary to gain a full understanding of the provider that will ultimately shape your child’s future. ­


(January 2014)


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