What To Look For In A Daycare

No matter the kind of daycare center you choose, a professional child care business, a family day care, or a home run daycare, there are some essential tips that you should keep in mind and some requirements that you need to make sure are met. Let’s look at how to choose a daycare for your child.


When you are looking at a prospective day care center notice how the staff plays and talks with the children. You should see them on the floor engaging with the children or in a position where they can see the kids eye to eye.  Do the caregivers give extra effort to be warm and responsive to the children – all children. The staffing ratio as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics is one to three with these babies up to 24 months old.


Babies need consistency and caring.  Connections need to be built with their caregivers in order to create attachments.  Ideally having your child at that daycare for at least a year will help build attachments.  How long have the daycare center’s caregivers worked there?  You should choose one where there is little turnover so the children can build healthy bonds and attachments.


Policies at the daycare are important and every childcare center has their own set of policies.  You should review policies for items such as discipline(What kind of punishments do the caregivers employ. Do they scold the child or give them time outs); television (Do they allow children to watch TV? If so, what kinds of shows do they allow?); snacks (What kinds of food are they going to feed you kids? Will your child have options to choose from?); sleep time (Will your child observe regular naps? How hard will they try to put your baby to sleep?); and others. Ask them how they would respond to a child being sick (Will they still be able to join the daycare as long as the sickness is not contagious? How well will they handle a sick child?). You should also look at how they intend to shuffle the caregiver staff should emergencies happen like if one of them gets sick and not be able to come to work. Ask as many questions as you can so you will not have to worry about it if it does become an issue.


Word of mouth referrals from other moms and dads you know are important but you still have to go and take a look at the place yourself in order to personally assess the center to see if it meets your standards of expectation.  The centers should be neat and clean, where a child can roam worry free, and is full of books and toys for them to enjoy and learn.  Time your visits randomly to see the consistency of the staff, the programs and their responses to events at different times of the day. Once you have already enrolled your child, you may want to pop up unexpectedly simply to see first hand how they are treating your child.

Talking To Your Child

Talking to your child, particularly a baby, has been scientifically proven to help brain growth especially the part that controls communication. Make sure if your child is old enough they know they can talk to you and how to talk to you.

You should also keep the communication lines open with you and the caregiver.  It is important for them to know if there is something amiss with your child and it works the other way also – they should feel free and obligated to tell you when something was amiss during the day.  Communication is critical.



  • gloria patterson

    This is a lot of good information and I am going to share it with my niece. Her daughter will be starting either pr-k or kindgarden this coming year. They held her out because of COVID and they have been working with her to learn. She is thinking about before and after school day care

  • Alice Carroll

    I agree that reviewing their policies will help me find the right daycare center for my child. I’d like to look for one soon because I’d like to start preparing my son for preschool. That means that he will need to start being more comfortable playing with other kids his age.

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