I am looking to find a daycare for my 2 kids. 4 yrs and 19 months. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or had certain questions that they asked the daycare providers before choosing a daycare. I want to make sure they get into a day program that is similar to a school setting and want to make sure the teachers are really motivated to help kids grow in a positive way.And to look out for those nutjobs out there too ...so if anyone can help me configure a list of questions I can ask about the daycare that will help me choose the best one I would really be greatful! Thanks so much!
Are you looking for a day care in a private home or a large facility?
Some of the things you should ask are:
1. How many children per adult?
2. What are the ages of the other children? Are they separated into groups by age?
3. Are you licensed? What are the teachers' qualifications?
4. Do you take field-trips or outings? If so, how do you insure proper supervision? How do you insure no one gets left behind in the vehicles?
5. Do you have a pool on the grounds, and if so, how do you prevent children from gaining access?
6. What schedule do you have set up? When is lunch/ naptime/ storytime/etc.?
7. How do you handle children with disipline problems?
Use your intuition. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. If you enroll them in a facility daycare, when you arrive the first day, how are the children welcomed? Do they have things set up for them, or do the teachers act like they didn't know they were getting another child? Do the other kids look happy? Inspect the play areas. Do they look safe?
Finally, after they start, watch your children for changes in behavior. Are they starving when they come home? If so, maybe they aren't getting a chance to eat their lunch or snack. Do they start hitting, throwing tantrums, or worse, start inappropriate conduct? Do they become upset when you drop them off? Make sure you ask your 4-year-old lots of questions about what goes on with him and the younger child during the day and be prepared to talk with the provider about anything that makes you uncomfortable.
I'm not trying to scare you, but there are plenty of people running these places that shouldn't be.
My son was physically abused by the director of his preschool (she watched the kids while the teachers were at lunch). He had broken his collar bone a few weeks earlier (at home) and my MIL walked in to catch her grab his arm (the broken one) and jerk him down in an effort to make him sit. (He stood up because he saw his grandmother was there to pick him up.) We filed a complaint with the county, but since it was MIL's word against the director's, nothing came of it. It's been 6 years and she's still there working with kids. The worst part for me, is that I had a bad feeling about the place (which came highly recommended, by the way), but I ignored it, thinking I was being over-protective.
Just listen to your heart and your children and don't be afraid to move them if you feel the need.
Sorry to have written a book, but I don't want you to go through what we did.
Thankyou very much for your reply! The book I don't mind...when it comes to my kids I want to make sure they are ALWAYS safe and happy...I'm so sorry about your experience, I AM glad that everything worked out ok and you took him right out. This IS what scares me about other people watching my kids. I can't afford it, but I stay home most days so I don't have to put them in a daycare...if I do have to work I'm glad my mom is there to watch them. But, they need the experience, and as afraid as I am, I need to let them socialize...there are good things in this world, as well as bad.... Again. Thank you for your help.
I have played daycare hop in the last few months many times with 20 month old foster child. DFS tells me if I can take her there or not. I did sign her up last week at a daycare to start next week. The lady said she was licensed for state pay and state licensed. I was going to have to pay extra out of my pocket that I would not be reimbursed for but I was desperate. DFS said that they could not ask foster parents to pay the extra that the state did not pay them. I called her worker gave him the new providers name but he called me later and said the lady lied to me that she was not in the system at all and that my foster child could not attend there. So I was once again calling eveyone that was advertised in the paper and the phone book trying to find a provider. At this time I was looking for a provider anywhere and that would allow me to drop off around 6:00 am and 6:30 am. Right now a provider on my way to work wasnt in my mind....well to make a long story short I finally did find someone that she will start next week that is licensed. I guess you never know about someone unless you research it. I would have never known if her worker wouldnt have called me to let me know. Dont people think that they would eventually get caught in such a big lie? Give me a break.
When I was looking for daycare, I got a list of licensed home and centers from the county social services agency who handled licensing. I also asked someone I knew at the local fire department who did the licensing inspections. I was also able to ask a former coworker of mine who works for the local police department.
Go with your gut feeling. You'll know if the provider is in it for the money if they care for the maximum number of kids. The good ones only care for then number of kids they feel they can handle.
We opted for a daycare center. More than one person watching ds. Not much chance of the center being closed -- friends of mine complained their home day care was closed just about every friday in the summer, weeks at a time for the providers vacation in the summer and they'd still have to pay them AND pay for someone else to watch their child. Another one of my friends, who suggested the center we go to said her previous daycare provider had kids in private school, so half the time, her child was riding around in a car running errands, dropping off kids at school or activities.
Just got DS's summer year book -- photos and projects of what they worked on all summer long. Next week they'll start up preschool at his center in the mornings. He's learning, he's getting exercise both summer and winter, making friends...