You have looked after your child for a few months after delivery and enjoyed this pleasurable experience. You need to start working again. Your baby needs to put in a daycare where he would be looked after and his basic daily needs would be taken care in your absence. You need to be careful when you choose a daycare for your baby and it is best to get the word around a few months early among close family and friend circles. Depending on the various reviews that you receive regarding baby day care in your neighborhood, you can choose wisely.
What are the prominent signs of a bad daycare?
The Quality service of the daycare center
Your child's day care should have a reputable quality service attached to it. You must realize that in your absence, your baby would be in their hands and the daycare should enjoy a good reputation among young mothers. Here the essence of a positive word of mouth is very necessary and important. A good baby daycare does not need any advertisements. It is the good service that it renders attracts young mother towards it. In case there are bad reviews about a day care it is best to avoid the place. On a closer probe or visit you will find out that the kids are unhappy and are cranky in nature. This is a vital sign that shows that the day care is not good and should be avoided by you at all cost ,
Absence of Rules
Discipline is very essential in a daycare. A popular day care would have specific guidelines regarding the various daily operations it undertakes and also how it handles emergencies . There should be rules regarding the number of days it is open for daycare, the total daily working hours and in case there is an overtime necessity what are the rules to be followed in this regard .
In case you hire a caregiver at home, you should be specific regarding the rules that the caregiver needs to maintain keeping your personal preference in mind. You also need to monitor from your end if these are followed with your child or not.
Laxity regarding child sickness
Daycare having no rules regarding child sickness policy should be avoided at all cost. A child recovering from fever or flu needs to stay in his home for one full day before he is back in the daycare facility. This small rule will prevent other children from falling ill. The daycare should be strict regarding health hygiene. It would be a positive step, if they undertake regular medical checkups and immunization process for the kids that stay in the daycare. The same checkup should be done for the helpers in the daycare also. Daycares usually encourage parents to drop in frequently and check that their kids are happy. In case any daycare center does not encourage this, there are reasons behind it. It is in the best interest of your child that the daycare facility would be avoided.
Absence of regular routine in a day care
Your baby's daycare should have various activities planned during the day. This helps him to learn about his new surroundings and encourage him to mix with other kids. In case you notice that in a daycare, babies are left on their own and they just dwindle their time around, such a daycare should be avoided at all cost. Daycares having very stringent rules should be avoided because if does not allow your child to explore and learn new things.
Presence of poor quality of toys
This might sound surprising but in case you visit to check in the facility of a popular daycare and find that the toys the kids play with are not age relevant, it is best to avoid such daycare. Toys help your child to learn and grow. These toys should also be in the right amount otherwise they would be kids fighting over it. A good day care should have plenty of stuffed toys and busy boards that would help your six month to enjoy his daily routine. He would be very bored in case there is no activity and would feel very alone .He would start missing you.
An unqualified caregiver
Your daily day care giver might have experience in bringing up a children but what is her educational qualification. In case she has not undergone training in any child development course, she might have problems in bringing your child up. They should also have taken courses in specialized training skill like CPR.
Your child's caregiver should not be very strict and should be open to listen and understand the philosophies that you think are correct and best for your child. It is essential that she maintains healthy relationship with kids and does not just baby talk with them. You should inform your neighborhood child care service in case you have watched a caregiver being abusive towards children and hit them also. A daycare should not have kids unattended and left free. This could lead your kid outside daycare premises and he could get hurt very badly.
Absence of emotional support
Little kids need love and affection in a daycare environment. They are getting used to the new environment and miss having you around. In case the daycare does not have a support system that gently takes care of them when they are being a difficult child or bullied by older kids. This daycare is not appropriate for your kid.
Presence of poor communication in the daycare
Most daycare usually has regular open communication sessions once a week. Here the parents and the daycare personnel's exchange ideas and discuss the various challenges in hand and how it can be solved. This creates a healthy community learning for all. If the daycare is not open and does not encourage any sort of communication, it is best to avoid such a daycare.
Maintaining a healthy kid ratio in the daycare
Your child's daycare should not be full of children. This would create problems of daily care and kids would not be attended regularly. The day care should have a small group of children where the kids are taken care well. The NAFCC or National Association for Family Child Care has basic guidelines for the daycare to be followed and most daycare should be accredited with the regulations.
Unhygienic and dirty surroundings.
Your child day care should maintain the following ground rules in hygiene. They are:
The kitchen area and the floor should be clean always.
The daycare rooms should be ventilated properly and during winters it should be warm.
Your child's hand should sanitize regularly and kept clean always.
The basic safety rules regarding fire should be followed.
Play and toys should be in good condition.
No windows without bars should be kept open. Your curious child might just trip over and have an accident.
Basic medication should be kept locked in cabinets and out of kids reach.
The bedding used should be clean, fresh and changed at intervals.
The play area should be protected well.
Smoke detection system should be working and efficient in manner.
The daycare should have radiators covered so that your child might not end up burning his hand.
A basic fire extinguisher with necessary first aid kid should be used in case a child is hurt.
The daycares security system should be in place. A stranger should not be allowed to loiter in or a kid unattended should not walk out of the daycare.
These are small little things that would make or break your decision regarding your child's day care.
A day care with license expired.
As a rule a day care needs to follow basic rules and regulations prescribed by government regulatory bodies. But sometimes these rules are flouted as the care giver takes two or three kids only. Your daycare should have a registered license from the government, which would show that it is following basic rules and regulations regarding daycare. A license however would not qualify if the quality of the service is good or bad. You can research online and check if the daycare that you are choosing for your child has a valid registration. This detail would be mentioned in the website. In case there are problems with your child daycare in the near future, a license would help you to contact the child protection service in your area and take the necessary action.
The experience of choosing the right daycare for your is a big challenge as a mother. Your child should be given the minimum facility that he had enjoyed at home and his daycare becomes a second home for him. It is best advised to take time before you decide the daycare your child should enroll in. A good daycare works wonders for your kid and he greets you happily at the end of your working day when you pick him up. In the initial days that your child spends in daycare it is a taxing time for both of you, as you are both adjusting to a new environment. A good caregiver would solve the problem for both of you and help you to move on with daily challenges ahead.