Thursday, August 8, 2013

Choosing Daycares, Preschools, and Afterschool Programs

It occurred to me today as I was considering putting my son in a preschool/daycare that I have a lot of experience in the area. It also made me realize that I have high standards for any place I would put my children because I've worked it. As a benefit for my reader friends who may not have the same experience, I will share some of what you should look for in picking a daycare/ afterschool program.

First thing you should do is.... surprise them with your visit!
This will allow you to get a better view of how things actually go! Look at the cleanliness, the rooms, the bathrooms, the outdoor equipment, the gym, etc.

Next, have a list of questions ready. Here are a few important ones:
  1. What do lunches/snacks consist of? (Are hot lunches offered?)
  2. How many children are in a group?
  3. How many staff are with each group?
  4. Do you have a sample schedule? (What is the schedule like?)
  5. What happens with children who wont/ cant nap? (preschool)
  6. How much television/ movie time do the children get?
  7. How much physical activity time is offered?
  8. Do you provide homework help/tutoring?
  9. How are difficult or disrespectful behaviors handled?
  10. Whats the average age of your staff?
  11. Are you staff required to have training? How much? In what?
  12. Do the staff have CPR/ First Aid training?
  13. How often are the children brought to the bathroom? (preschool)
  14. What is you late arrival/pick up policy?
  15. What is your policy for when a child gets sick?
  16. Are you licensed and inspected by the state?
These are just a few ideas, but believe me, you will learn a lot by the way they answer. You may also want to visit several days at different times after your child starts attending. You will be able to see how they fit in with the afterschool program. Also, feel free to talk to some staff, get to know them, share concerns. The best thing you can do is be open for two way communication!

No comments:

Post a Comment