What Parents Should Know About Choosing a Daycare for Their Kids

When it’s time to head back to work after maternity or paternity leave, you’re going to have to start thinking about selecting a daycare for your child. While this might seem like a simple task on the face of it, choosing the right daycare round rock option for your child isn’t so easy. You’ll have to figure out how to balance convenience with quality care, and most importantly, you’ll have to find people you trust to take care of your child while you’re at work. On top of that, you’ll need to figure out if you’re interested in a specific type of daycare philosophy or activity-focused facility to keep your child active and learning. Finding the right daycare is going to take time, but if you know what you’re looking for, your job will be that much easier. If you’re searching for the best daycare for your child, here are some things to keep in mind.

The Hours and Availability

Every daycare is different in terms of handling absence, holidays, and after hour consultations. Before choosing a daycare, you want to make sure the staff is going to be accessible to you in case of an emergency. You also want to make sure the daycare is going to be open when you need it. For instance, if your daycare of choice is open only from 9 to 6 and you get out of work at 7, it’s not going to help you out too much during the week. The best thing to look for is a daycare that allows you to customize your hours as well as your commitment. If you sign up for a daycare that’s only open part of the time but asks you to get involved in activities, fundraisers, and meetings constantly, it’s going to end up sucking all your time away. Remember, your daycare should work for you, not the other way around.

The Itinerary

Daycares aren’t as strict as certain preschools can be about teaching philosophies and teaching itineraries. Since they’re not technically a prerequisite to kindergarten or Pre-K education, the focus is going to be a lot more on play and creativity rather than learning-based activities. However, this doesn’t mean you should pay attention to what your daycare is planning on exposing your child to. There are all different types of daycares, and some are more hands-on than others. For instance, if you want your child to be exposed to a more mixed curriculum or schedule, it’s not going to be a great choice to go with a daycare that just plops the kids down in front of the TV for hours, even if it is the most convenient choice. Ask a lot of questions about what the staff actually plans on doing with the kids all day. Ask them if they allow the kids to play outdoors and exercise, and whether or not they integrate arts exposure into their range of activities.

The Staff

If you don’t gel with the staff, you’re going to end up having a problem sooner rather than later. While it’s not important to 100% agree with every aspect of your daycare’s teaching philosophy, you should be able to openly and consistently communicate with your daycare’s director and staff about your needs as well as your child’s needs. Whether you need to open up a dialogue about more nutritious snacks for the kids or a better time-out policy, you’ll need to advocate for what you want.

The Policy and Philosophy

Again, daycare isn’t the same as preschool, so you’re not likely to be dealing with a lot of different options when it comes to teaching philosophies. Since the daycare’s job is to look after your kids instead of teach them, there probably won’t be a ton of difference between one daycare option and another outside of location, staff, and the activity roster. However, many daycares are small enough to be run only by a few people, especially if they’re on the more affordable end of the spectrum. In this case, you could be dealing with individuals who have specific beliefs or routines that you might not be comfortable with. For instance, if you’re not a religious person, you might not want your child to go to a daycare where prayer is common or encouraged. If you are a religious person, this might be incredibly important to you. Before signing up for anything, make sure you’re seeing eye to eye with daycare director to avoid any personal or political clashes.