Written by Iyore Ojomo
Let’s face it, trusting a daycare center to look after your young child is no easy task, but for those of us who can’t turn to nannies or grandparents for help, nursery schools offer a practical solution for busy parents.
If you’ve never sought a daycare or are struggling to find the right one, here is a list of expertly selected qualities to look for in a childcare provider. These will help you narrow your list when choosing the out-of-home care that is best for you and your child.
1. Security and Sign-In Protocol
An organized method of getting kids in and out of the day care center is vital to the efficiency of a nursery school. Having an established security system is crucial, too. If you can walk into a daycare and enter the kids’ room without encountering at least one staff member, we have a problem
2. Organization and Environment
You will notice that the highest quality daycare centers are tidy, colorful, well-lit and wide open. Kids will have plenty of room to play, learn and socialize, plus toys and supplies aren’t left haphazardly throughout the common area.
3. Food Nutrition
Lots of daycare centers include breakfast, lunch, or snacks in their meal plans. Parents who rely on daycare center food options expect the facilities to provide fresh and nutritious options. A carefully selected food program not only feeds kids, but also helps creates a foundation for healthy eating habits for years to come.
4. Experienced Teachers
Teenagers might have what it takes to watch over two or three kids in the neighborhood, but managing an entire nursery school full of children requires significant training, experience and maturity. When selecting a preschool, ask the teachers about their educational background. A degree in early childhood education is a must. Having at least several years experience at a daycare or as a teacher is also important. If the instructors can’t cite specific schools and how much time was spent there, chances are your child won’t receive a fulfilling experience from that daycare.
5. Diverse and Rich Curriculum
You will be hard pressed to find a daycare center that teaches kids how to do arithmetic or spelling, but introducing them to certain kindergarten topics will help give them a leg up as they venture into the second phase of their educational development.
Iyore Ojomo operates three Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centers in North Carolina, which offer classroom and group activity settings, including ample play area both inside and outside the facility, and on-site meal services. These 15,000 square foot classroom facilities service families with children from just a few months old to 12 years old.