The transition to kindergarten can be a challenging one for many kids as well as their parents. Starting kindergarten brings with it adapting to a new routine and schedule, meeting new faces, and being part of a larger classroom group. The shift from the home environment to the school setting can be overwhelming. This is where the benefits of a quality child care center come in.
A quality child care center can benefit young kids in more ways than one. In addition to preparing young children for school, enrolling your child in a daycare or preschool can help enrich cognitive and language development as well as social and emotional skills. While sending your little one to a child care center is a significant milestone, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. But don’t worry! Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing the best child care center for your little one!
Do your research
Selecting the right daycare or preschool for your little one requires careful thought and decision-making. It’s not like randomly picking a book from a shelf.
If you want to ensure that your child gets the best early childhood education for your child, start by doing research. Make a list of the most important factors that will impact your choice. For example, are you looking for a center that’s close to your home? Is your highest priority finding a school that fits your budget. Write down your most important factors and parameters. Then do your research and find out which centers meet these criteria. Narrow down your list based on these factors. You may search the internet and do online research, and you may also ask friends and family members for recommendations.
Schedule a visit
Besides looking online for information and gathering recommendations about various centers, it’s best to set up a schedule for a visit to each center in person. This will better help you assess whether or not a particular child care center is the right fit for your child.
During your visit, be sure to take the following things into consideration:
- Program and curriculum
When looking at child care centers, one of the things to consider is the kind of program and educational curriculum each one offers. Take time to learn about what kinds of things are being taught and if this type of program is in line with your vision for your child.. Also find out if the curriculum is designed to fit each child’s unique developmental needs. Don’t forget to inquire about how much time is dedicated to play. Adequate playtime is crucial when it comes to your child’s holistic development.
The transition to school isn’t easy for young kids. Because you don’t want your little one to feel overwhelmed, be sure to choose a daycare center with a safe, warm and friendly environment. Ensure that the location is also safe for children. Look around and see if there are safety hazards. Do the classrooms, playground and outdoor areas appear safe for children? Does the school have clear guidelines and procedures to ensure the security and safety for all children and staff?
Another important factor that will influence your choice in a child care center is the quality of its facilities. Does the center have classrooms that are conducive to learning? Do they have ample kid-friendly materials and toys that will enrich their learning and development? Are the facilities and materials safe?
- Interaction between teachers and students
When you schedule a visit to any childcare center, be sure to observe the interactions between the staff members and children. So the interactions appear to be engaging? Is the teacher able to capture and hold the attention of students? Are the kids responsive during discussions? Take notice of staff members’ actions as well as the language used when communicating with their students. Observe their routines, activities and the manner in which they deliver the lessons.
Trust your instincts
Your in-person visits to different childcare centers will usually give you a better sense of whether or not each one is the right school for your child. And as a parent, you’ll often get a sense if something doesn’t feel right. At this point, if you don’t feel right about a center, trust your gut. Pay attention to your feelings, and don’t ignore warning signs. Your child deserves the best care and education. Always feel free to explore other options if one center doesn’t seem to be the right fit for your child.
Choosing the best child care center is an important decision for parents. If you want to make sure your little one is in the best hands, please feel free to contact Creative Learning Academy. Give us a call for more information!