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Learning how to choose a licensed daycare for children can be a daunting task for parents. Using a set of guidelines can help parents evaluate various daycares and make the right choice. It also helps for parents to plan a day when the whole family can visit the facilities and observe classroom activities designed for children their child's age. With a checklist and prepared questions, parents should be able to choose the facility that not only makes them most comfortable but that their child responds to most positively.
- Schedule a tour
- Evaluate the facility, staff, other children, and educational material used.
- Assessing the Facility
Even if the daycare staff seems wonderful, parents will want to suss out the facility that houses the daycare as well. In particular, they'll want to see if the facility includes safe indoor and outdoor areas and equipment or orderly, clean work areas.
What do the classrooms look like? The ideal center classroom is airy, well-lit and attractive with bright colors. Be sure to look at the bathrooms and diaper-changing areas as well. Do they appear to be sanitary?
- Are children allowed to get dirty naturally through play? Do all children appear to be engaged in classroom activities, or have some of them been left out? Overall, do the children appear to be happy? Do they laugh and share with staff and each other?
- What are the Educational Features of the Daycare
How do the children occupy their time during the day? Do they engage in creative play? Can you spot educational materials in the classroom or only toys? Do the teachers adhere to an organized schedule or program that includes supervised rest time? Is there story time, music time or art time during the day or the week?
- Classroom Management
For the sake of their child's growth and development, parents should take an interest in how the center practices discipline. Find out whether rules at the school are clearly explained, and how the staff encourages good behavior. Parents should also find out if they'll be allowed to visit the center and interact with children during the day.
This is your precious gift from God and Kidz World understands that. We want you to choose the daycare that feels right for you and your child. Be sure that you are making the right choice.
If your child is between the ages of three and six and attends a preschool or kindergarten program, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests you look for these 10 signs to make sure your child is in a good classroom.
- Children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children. They do not wander aimlessly and they are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time.
- Children have access to various activities throughout the day. Look for assorted building blocks and other construction materials, props for pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as matching games, pegboards, and puzzles. All the children should not necessarily all be doing the same activity at the same time.
- Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day. They do not spend all their time with the whole group.
- The classroom is decorated with children's original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and stories dictated by children to teachers.
- Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. The natural world of plants and animals and meaningful activities like cooking, taking attendance or serving snack provide the basis for learning activities.
- Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour) to play and explore. Worksheets are used little, if at all.
- Children have an opportunity to play outside every day. Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.
- Teachers read books to children individually or in small groups throughout the day, not just at group story time.
- Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Teachers recognize that children's different backgrounds and experiences mean that they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.
- Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel secure about sending their child to the program. Children are happy to attend; they do not cry regularly or complain of feeling sick.
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