As a working parent, the hardest decision you have to make is choosing from among the many daycares available in McKinney, TX. What sets a good daycare apart? What makes it the best fit for your child? Is there a state or national agency that has information about daycares that can help? Your child is the most important thing in the world to you and placing him or her in the care of others is not something you can take lightly, so follow these 5 steps to ensure that you choose wisely for both you and your child:
- Start Your Search Early
Don’t leave finding daycare until the last minute. You can begin your search while you or your spouse are pregnant or during maternity/paternity leave. No matter which kinds of daycares in McKinney, TX you’re looking for – home daycare or a daycare center – the search will take time.
- Gather Information
Begin by talking to other parents who have children in daycare and asking for their recommendations. Other parents are going to be your most important source of information because they won’t hold back if they have something negative to say about a particular daycare. An excellent, non-parent resource for information is Child Care Aware of America, which is a national organization dedicated to helping parents find quality daycare and to helping them pay for care once they find it. Finding out what other parents think about specific daycares is important, but so is finding out what local licensing requirements are, whether or not facilities have complaints filed against them and how you can get help paying for daycare. Resources like Child Care Aware of America and others can help with that.
- Visit Daycares
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down to two or three, visit them and ask questions. This will give you the chance to see how clean the facility is and how friendly, helpful and knowledgeable the staff is before you commit your child to going there. It will also give you the chance to ask some important questions like:
- What is the teacher to student ratio?
- What are the group sizes?
- What are the teacher/caregiver qualifications?
- What is the teacher turnover rate?
- Make Your Choice
Once you’ve gathered all of the information you need, decide which daycare you think is right for your child. Of course, there’s no way to predict how your child will react to the daycare you choose; but remember that there are things you can do to ensure that your child is happy and that the daycare does everything it promises. Begin by taking the next step…
- Stay Involved
Just as you will do once your child is in elementary school and beyond, you should stay involved with what is happening in your child’s daycare. Volunteer for field trips and for helping with special celebrations when you can. Arrange parent-teacher meetings if you are concerned about something. Talk to your child daily about their daycare experiences to make sure that they’re engaged and happy.