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Signs of a Safe and Responsible Daycare

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoosing a daycare is a tough job for new parents.  There are so many variables to consider, and local care facilities in the Whitby and Ajax area often fill up very quickly.  Most parents find themselves on a waiting list months before their care even begins.  Entrusting someone else with the care of your children requires a huge leap of faith, but there are a few common characteristic of good quality daycare providers.  Whether you are planning on using a local mom’s home daycare, or you are planning on enrolling your children at an established child care facility, here are a few positive factors to keep in mind:

A good reputation with reliable references – Word of mouth referrals are important in the child care industry, and most day care providers will go above and beyond to make sure the families they serve are happy with the care they are receiving.  If you are looking for some good options in your area, reach out to other parents at school or the local mom-to-mom groups.  If you are checking out a new daycare provider for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask for references.

A smart and active curriculum – Even if your kids are a few years away from starting school, opportunities to learn and broaden their horizons are everywhere.  Many kids start out shy and apprehensive, but once they learn what daycare is all about, they can’t wait to go back.  Ask potential care providers about how much outdoor activity takes place.  Are there day trips to nearby attractions?  What kind of activities are organized to keep kids engaged?

A transparent open-door policy – Have some extra time to stop by your child’s day care on your lunch break?  That’s shouldn’t be a problem at a responsible facility.  Parental involvement should be accommodated and encouraged.  Many childcare organizations allow parents to tag along on field trips or help out with activities.

Consistent ground rules – A well run daycare provider operates with rules in place that make sense and look out for the well-being of everyone involved.  Ask potential child care providers about their cancellation policies and how they handle sick days.  What kind of snacks are the kids allowed to bring, and if your child has an allergy, how will it be accommodated?  If a daycare has inconsistent rules, it’s hard to know what to expect and have the confidence that your child is in a healthy environment.

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