Caring for an infant can be challenging, particularly in a day care setting; however if done properly, having an infant in a day care that is properly equipped to handle them can positively impact your baby’s experience.
With the state of the economy, more and more families are forced to have homes with two working parents, which means that children are being put into day care environments at younger ages and even for longer time during the day.
If you are among those families who have been forced to place your infant in a day care setting, it doesn’t have to be as scary or challenging as it seems. Things to consider when choosing a good day care environment for your infant are group size of the day care, the quality of the actual physical environment of the day care facility and how the needs are going to be met for each individual infant.
• Group Size: Infants thrive better in a calm environment, it’s true, but each infant reacts differently in different environments. Keeping this in mind, a large group of infants can create chaos and confusion and an unhappy baby – even if there are enough adults to adequately care for all of them. Many infants in a group creates a louder noise level which further leads to confusion and chaos. To have a pleasant experience for all involved, choose a day care facility with six infants or less.
• Environment: As with the group size, the environment of your day care center can mean the difference between an enriching experience and a miserable one. The environment should be comfortable and encourage interaction between the adult caregivers and the infants as well as for the parents to visit with the children at the end of the day.
• Meeting the Needs: Meeting the needs of each infant is directly related to the size of the group of infants in the day care. Smaller groups allow for more intimate care, more flexibility for sleeping, eating and playing schedules and allows for children with special needs to receive the attention they need when they need it.
Caring for children, especially in a group setting like day care, is a profession. Choose your day care facility wisely based on the needs of your family and their ability to meet those needs.