This last year has presented itself with a lot of ups and downs, though amidst it all the world has continued moving forward! Selecting a childcare facility has always been a very sensitive and important decision to make, and this last year has made those stakes even higher. With most facilities not offering school tours, how can you know you will be making the best choice as a parent. Let’s go over a few helpful tips in selecting a childcare center!
What are your needs as a family?
Let’s take this opportunity to be selfish (in a healthy manner!) and figure out what is important to the parents and child in need of care. A few good questions to ask yourself are: What type of help do I need as a parent? What type of program does my child need to enrich their life? Am I looking for a full-time, or a part-time program? It is important to know what type of care you will be in search of – some full-time programs including VPK programs have deadlines for student applications, whereas most schools are on a first come basis. Once you have answered these questions you will be on the right path to selecting a childcare facility!
Where is the school located?
Living here in sunny Southwest Florida we are blessed with many different businesses and residential areas within our own community. When choosing a childcare facility, it is important to keep its location in mind. Is the school close to your work, your home, or any of your immediate family? For the simple aspect of convenience, location, and its proximity to you as a parent, is important in making a decision. Now imagine there were to be an emergency of some sort, think of how crucial now it will be to be close to your child’s school.
What to look for when researching schools?
When you are looking into different childcare centers it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Most important is how did you hear of the program in question? Was it through word of mouth, personal experience, or through an external source? The first two can make your decision much easier – the comfort in either knowing a program firsthand or on referral from a friend can put one’s mind at ease. If you have found a school from an external source, it is important to read the schools website thoroughly, and to call the director for any further questions. When navigating through a school’s online website it can also be helpful to read any reviews or testimonials that are available. Also, the website should have ample literature to answer questions like hours of operation, location, class sizes. A school’s website should also have information on the mission and philosophy of the program. In addition to this, many schools have created means of viewing the school virtually to accommodate parents’ inability to enter school premises. It is important to remember to inquire on whether this is an available option for “touring” the school and even if you are able to meet your child’s potential new teacher!
From one parent to the next we know help is always appreciated! On top of the awesome responsibility of being a parent, we know this past year has only thrown more hurdles and obstacles in our path through parenthood. Take every day as it comes, and always come prepared!