How to Choose a Daycare for Your Child

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A large percentage of households in the United States have dual income earners, meaning both mother and father work for a living. As a result, daycare is a necessity for many families. But trusting the care of your son or daughter to a complete stranger can be a frightening notion for any parent.
The key to selecting the right daycare for your child is to conduct extensive research. Make a list of the all the daycare providers in your area and find out as much as possible about each of them. Investigate the status of their license, the credentials and backgrounds of their personnel, and any complaints made against them. Thoroughly familiarize yourself with the policies and curriculum of the program. Be sure to check on the fundamental basics, such as nap time and meal plans, as well any special extracurricular features.
The health and safety of your child is of utmost importance when considering a daycare. Therefore it is crucial to pay a personal visit in order to inspect the facilities firsthand and meet the people who would responsible for your child. Someone can look perfect on paper but that does not necessarily mean you will feel comfortable with them. Here are some important questions to ask and things to look for:

• What is the ration of children to staff?
• Are the facilities clean and spacious?
• What types of activities are provided?
• What types of meals are provided?
• Do the children there appear happy and well cared for?
• How often is nap time?
• What is the daily routine?
• Have proper safety precautions been enforced, such as childproof electrical sockets and accessible fire exits?
Regulation of licensed daycare centers varies from state to state, so check with your local government to verify current standards. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, and above all else, trust your instincts. Choosing a daycare for your child is an important decision and takes a considerable amount of time and effort.

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