Taking your child to a day care is, in at least one way, a smart move; it does wonders for the development of your little one. Parents have different reasons why they send their children to child care. For some it’s necessary because of work, and some choose it because they feel it will help socialize their child. Whatever reason you have for looking into child care for your child, it is comforting to know that her being there will help in several areas of her young growth and development.
There are several types of child care — licensed day care facilities, in-home child care, and workplace day care programs are a few examples. A professional, licensed child care program is your best bet at ensuring your child is attending a program that meets his physical, social, emotional and nutritional needs. The quality of care your child receives will be an integral part of how happy he is, and how much he gets out of the program.
If you’re wondering how to know if the program you choose will nurture your child’s growth and development, we suggest focusing on a few key factors – quality, setting, time.
This one seems like a no brainer right? It makes sense that the quality of the daycare program correlates fairly directly with how much your child will learn there and how quickly they’ll learn new skills. Accredited programs have set curriculum that has been tested and reviewed. These programs will give your child the best shot at developing their language, social and cognitive skills early on.
You should do your best to ensure that the setting the child care center provides is one with diverse features and many different learning areas. Centers where children have the ability to move to different rooms for different learning activities, or at least to different centers, gives them the opportunity to explore new things and learn in many different ways. All children have their own style of learning so centers with diverse settings give your child the best opportunity to find their style.
The amount of time that a teacher has to spend with your child is very important. Licensed facilities will have to keep their classes within a state approved ratio. Many centers will, however, keep their classes lower than the suggested ration in order to provide better care. Picking a program with a lower ratio means that your child has more one-on-one time with the teacher and that’s always a good thing.