In these busy times, we parents sometimes do not have any choice but to leave our kids in a childcare center while we go off to work or do other errands. This kind of facility, which in our area are rightfully called Kindergarten, also serves as a transition between the house and regular school. The child becomes accustomed to being left in a place other than the home where he can play and enjoy activities with other kids. From this perspective, leaving your child in a childcare center becomes an important step in his development rather than just a temporary set-up.
It is important to carefully choose the childcare center where you will leave your child. The people running the center as well as their care personnel should genuinely care about your children. Only after you have determined this can you start considering other factors. You cannot just make a choice based on a single factor. It has to be a combination of reputation, availability of activities, and population.
1. Reputation – you can ask around in your neighborhood or perhaps even your local pre-school for information about the different childcare centers in your area. Parents and teachers are your best resource for honest “reviews” about these childcare centers.
2. Availability of Activities – there should be a range of activities that would appeal to different interests. The kids should be able to engage in age-appropriate activities that keep them from being fussy. Unlike schools, formal lessons are not to be expected from these centers. But, with the right kinds of toys and activities, your child can actually learn basic concepts through play.
3. Population – you do not want to leave your child in a center that is bursting at the seams with children. Having too many people around can overwhelm your child. And when there is not enough care personnel around, making sure that each child is cared for becomes difficult. Plus, there’s also the concern about health and hygiene – when there are too many kids in one place, it is highly likely that one child who is sick can transmit the virus to everyone else who comes into contact with him.
Before you make your final decision, visit the center on a normal day and see how many kids are left in their care. This will also be a perfect time for you to see what activities are done in a typical day.