Choosing a daycare for your child can be nerve racking! In India, especially, where day care culture is new and nannies are ill trained to look after babies, it can be especially overwhelming. You obviously want your child to be safe, well cared for and happy.
So what should you be looking for in a daycare, to manage and allay your fears?
Read on to find out!
Consider how long the daycare has been around, the reviews they’ve gotten and the regular schools the children from there, have moved onto. Do tap into your social circle to check for referrals. Facebook has very helpful parent groups, organized by city, who are happy to share their experiences and views about the schools around them. Check for international or corporate tie-ups as these ensure a level of quality control that is not otherwise available to normal parents.
It is imperative that the day care should implement the highest safety standards possible. Look for CCTV access and a clear protocol to be followed during emergencies. Management should be approachable and accountable for child safety. If you’re thinking of using the school transport facility, ensure they have strict policies about verifying where the child is dropped off and to whom the child is handed over to. A reputed day care/preschool will never accept verification of people over the phone.
Young children thrive in environments that are well organized and follow established routines. Children should be encouraged to be independent and have access to a range of age appropriate toys and games.
Look for furniture at child height and child-friendly clean bathrooms that are situated away from kitchens. This will help you child become independent about looking after themselves, sooner rather than later.
Daycare schedule should incorporate plenty of time for physical play, group activities, quiet time, music, art and meal time. Day care/pre schools should encourage learning through play, and should not pressurise the child into learning forcefully. Young children should learn at their own pace, while still being exposed to a wide variety of age appropriate academic and co-curricular activities.
This is especially relevant if your child is very small. Ensure that your child’s care routine, is understood by the daycare staff, so as not to disturb the child’s sense of security. Children must follow their cycle of feeding and sleeping at daycare and at home. Look for a small adult to child ratio, so you can be assured, your child will be well looked after.
Ask about how the teachers and other staff are trained. Ask about their background, qualification and if they are police verified. Know your child’s caretaker well. If you are using school transport, ensure you know the driver and bus lady well.
Ensure the daycare has a strict sickness policy in effect, as young children are prone to catching infections. Ask how and where food is cooked and how many times a day or week the daycare, the toilets and all the toys and learning tools are cleaned. If the daycare provides bedding for afternoon naps, ensure the sheets and mattresses are cleaned frequently.
Being a working parent is hard. Don’t let your child’s daycare guilt trip you regarding the choices you make. They have to be flexible and supportive of you as a parent, so you can make the right choices for your child.
KLAY was built to be a parenting partner, so that parents can enjoy a stress and guilt free parenting journey.