Steps to Choosing Day Care Centers

As Stepping Stones Child Care parents, we know how difficult it can be to choose the best fit childcare for your child. This article has some interesting history and good tips when choosing a child care, allowing you to narrow down what is important for you and your child to help ensure their educational success. Enjoy!

Steps to Choosing Day Care Centers


Child care, or more commonly day care, involves the care of a child by someone other than the parent or legal guardian during the daytime and is usually performed by an individual who is not part of the family and lives outside that family. Typically, this service is conducted during the parent or guardian’s work cycle. It is referred to as either child care or day care in Canada and the US whereas in Australia and the UK, it is referred to as child care. Child care is usually performed by a family care provider, a nanny, or a nursery.

First appearing in France during the 1840’s, the Société des Crèches was recognized by the French Government in 1869 as the first of the legal day care centers. These facilities actually originated in the latter 18th century and earlier 19th centuries, but they did not appear in the US until the New York Day Nursery first opened its doors in 1854. When they first originated in the US during the 1850’s, it was primarily a charity-based operation.

Choosing the best day care centers

The National Network for Child Care has oftentimes stated how important these day care centers have become in the US in that working parents today just do not have enough time in their daily schedules to care for their children. Here are some suggestions to help you choose the best one for your child:

Look at child care referral and resource centers – it is safer to choose a day care provider from these lists than just picking one out of a newspaper ad.

Visit the facilities you have put on your list – you want to look for key elements when you investigate each of these day care centers. This includes accreditation and licensing information, cleanliness, the kind of food that the children are being fed, the number of children being cared for, and the number of adult staff members that work at the facility.

Check out staff member qualifications – you might want to inquire as to how they were screened for the position, if a background check was conducted, and even if they have been fingerprinted. You should also find out if all of them have undergone child care training and know how to perform CPR.

Spend time observing – you want to see how the children are interacted with by the staff members of these day care centers so you can judge the quality of care that is being provided.

Do additional research – chances are, when you talk to the owner or any of the staff members, they aren’t going to give you anything but positive feedback. Instead, you want to inquire about any of these day care centers you are considering by contacting either your local area Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Social Services. The main thing you want to find out is if these day care centers are in good standing with these different organizations.

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