One of the biggest decisions a parent will make when transitioning back to work is choosing the best child care centre for their child.  Choosing a day care centre can be an emotional and difficult experience for many families. It is hard to believe your little one will soon be out of the house and under the care of trusted teachers.

To help parents transition from feeling overwhelmed to ready for these next steps, Kids & Company has created some tips for parents looking for child care:
 
 

Consider the Environment & Facility

  • Is the centre clean and attractive?
  • What are the hours of operation?
  • Are there days of the year when the centre is closed?
  • Does the centre offer flexible days (part-time and back-up/emergency care)?
  • Does the centre charge late fees?
  • Are the learning materials and toys clean and kept in good repair?
  • Does the centre have access to an outdoor play area?
  • Can parents come to visit at any time?

 

How is the Curriculum & Programming?

  • Is there an induction/transition program offered?
  • Are there age appropriate toys that allow for creativity and skill building?
  • What type of materials and resources are available for children?
  • What kinds of programs does the centre offer? (e.g. Sign language for infants)?
  • What are the daily routines and how can you incorporate my child’s and other children’s routines?
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Questions to Ask About the Caregivers

  • What are the qualifications of the Director or Assistant Director at the centre?
  • What are the qualifications of the teachers?
  • Consider what the child to teacher ratios are.
  • Do the teachers provide daily reports?
  • Are developmental assessments done? How often?

 

Child Care Health & Safety

  • Do teachers and children wash their hands before and after diapering or toileting?
  • Are medications stored in locked containers, out of reach of children?
  • Does the centre accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies?
  • Are there procedures in place to document any accidents?
  • How will staff advise you if your child is sick or has an accident?
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Nutrition – Food & Mealtimes

  • Does the centre provide snacks and/or meals?
  • If so, does this food meet the standards in Canada’s Food Guide?
  • What will the children eat and drink during the day?
  • What time and how often do children eat?
  • Do teachers sit with children during meals?
  • Is there catering or is there an on-site kitchen?
  • Is the food additive and preservative free or is the food fresh?
  • Does the centre accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies?
  • Is the centre a tree nut, peanut, shellfish and pork product free facility?
  • Does the menu expose your child to a variety of foods and flavours?
  • Can you bring outside food?

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the process of looking for child care, you are not alone. Many parents experience a wide range of emotions while researching for child care providers. If you feel like your search is going nowhere or you simply don’t know where or how to start, let us help you! Give Kids & Company a call to discuss the care options available at any of our centres across the country. You can contact us today at 1-866-695-4326 or info@kidsandcompany.com. For a complete listing of our centres go to kidsandcompany.com.

 

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