Choosing a daycare for your child involves prioritising your requirements, researching various crèches in your locality, asking plenty of questions, and being aware and observant.Although it is a good idea for you to add your own criteria about what is important for you and your child, you might want to use the following factors as a guide to begin with.
Look for a daycare with:
- Ideal location: The ideal place would be close to your home or workplace.
- Positive reviews accompanied by a warm and stimulating environment.
- Transparent, well established policies and open communication.
- A structured, child-centric and age-specific curriculum.
- Qualified, dedicated, and professional staff.
- Clean and safe facilities with a valid operating license.
Besides these 6 indicators, the following need to be checked for making a decision:
- Security: CCTV Cameras, security guard, identity cards and authorization letters.
- Safety: Non toxic furniture and toys, safety locks for electrical points. Staircases, windows, balconies and verandas should have protective grills. Medical officer for emergencies.
- Hygiene: Separate wash rooms for boys and girls. Clean and airy classrooms. Empty dustbins.
- Staff: Child to staff ratio should be 3:1 for children under two years of age, 4: 1 for children between 2 and 3 years and 10:1 for three and five years of age. Hygiene, manners and overall grooming are critical for staff to make an impression.
- Activities: Curriculum should have provision for physical activity, quiet time, storybook session, group and individual activities, meal and nap time. An excellent daycare will have age appropriate toys and books, painting, drawing, gluing and sticking activities, spacious indoor and outdoor play area, trips to parks and picnics,
- Policies: Pick and drop timings, emergency drills, illness, open door policy for feedback and monitoring.
Here are a few things you may also want to keep in mind:
- The building should be suitably air-conditioned, lit and ventilated.
- Availability of filtered drinking water.
- Electricity backup.
- Sleeping arrangements for children. Make sure to check quality and comfort of resources available.
- Check where your baby’s daycare bag and spare clothes are kept. Ideally, each child should have a separate locker or shelf with a name tag. Your baby’s bottle, sipper, clothes, diaper and toiletries must not be shared with another child.
- Make it a point to check your child’s bag every day. Good crèches will provide you with a check list. They will also inform you when anything has been used or needs replacement.
- Lastly, find out about their policy on potty training. Ensure you speak to the manager, caregiver and a few parents to get a true picture.
For viewing the best daycares in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Zirakpur and getting exciting offers with our partners, visit us at YouCare. Remember, a daycare is a home away from home. Make sure you have checked all options before making up your mind. In case, if we have missed out something, do feel free to comment and share. Happy Day-caring!