So you have asked questions, checked references and decided upon a child care provider for your children. Before leaving your children for the first time, it’s a good idea to visit your chosen facility and check it out. Take time to look around and talk with the children and the caregivers. Make sure that you are feeling good about leaving your children there.
Some things to consider may be:
- Are the caregivers easy to communicate with?
- Do the caregivers read, sing and talk to the children?
- Do the children seem happy? Are they actively involved with the caregivers and activities?
- How long do babies cry before being picked up by the caregivers?
- Is the home/centre childproofed and clean?
- Is smoking allowed in the facility or on the property?
- Is an emergency evacuation plan displayed?
- Are smoke detectors visible and in working order?
- Are all unsafe objects (blind cords, knives) out of children’s reach?
- Are all cleaners, medications, and poisonous materials stored under lock and key?
Follow your instincts. If it does not feel right, it might not be. It is also important to follow your child’s lead. If they are not happy there are usually reasons why.
If you have the chance, take time to volunteer in the facility. Stay involved and make your opinions count!