T hat is your most valuable asset? Depending on who you are and what you care about, the answer to this question could vary. It may be your car, your home, or even a fancy television. What precautionary steps do you take to protect those assets? Before you purchased something with such a high value, did you conduct research to find out its reliability or return on investment? Now, the last question. Did you conduct research before selecting a childcare facility for your kids?
You might not think of your children as an asset, but if you’re a parent then you probably agree that your children are the most valuable thing in your life. So why didn’t you vet their caregiver as much as you did automobile or homeowner’s insurance? You’re in luck. California has a lot of helpful resources and guideline in place to ensure that your children are protected when in the hands of a childcare facility.
As you begin your search for a good childcare facility, here are few things to consider when visiting.
- How is the staff interacting with the children? Are they on the floor playing with the children or are they glued to their phone in a chair?
- How long has the staff been employed at the facility? Is there a high turnover rate?
- What are some of the policies at the center and how do they align with your parenting style?
- What is their philosophy on punishment?
- How often do the children watch television?
- What types of snacks are given?
- How often are naps given?
- What is their sick-child policy?
In addition to asking these questions during your initial visit, it is recommended that you visit the center at different times throughout the day to see how various staff members handle the children and what types of activities are happening during the day. If you’re a little lost on where to begin or want more information about local centers, check out the California Department of Social Services. Here you will be able to search for centers within your area and obtain feedback.
The last, and most important, thing to keep in mind is to always go with your gut. If something about a particular facility doesn’t feel right to you, regardless of how many raving recommendations they have, don’t sign-up and just keep looking.