If you’re wondering if you’re “reading into daycare too much” let us help you out by first saying you’re not at all! Picking out the perfect preschool or daycare program is comparable to picking out the best college, except with about 15 years difference in between! You should (and have every right to) be extra picky when it comes to picking out your child’s first school. However often we find that many parents become overwhelmed in the whole process and forget to ask vital questions to the prospective schools. Many parents, brand new and not, have suddenly walked into the classroom and forgot all the questions that had been keeping them up at night.
You are not alone!
Here’s just a few,
What to ask your child’s potential daycare:
1. “What does your curriculum look like?”
This is SO important especially if you’re someone who wants their children to attend a preschool or early education facility more than just a daycare. It’s also important to set eyes on what the curriculum looks like. A curriculum that is out and always available to parents shows there is an academic plan rather than letting chaos break lose every day. Some basics in curriculum are: math & manipulatives, science & sensory, literacy, social studies.
Of course, the end goal for almost every parent who places their child into a preschool program is for their kid to be more than ready for Kindergarten. Ask questions like, “How do you guys help with that?” and “How do you incorporate that standards they need to know into the kids’ every day?” Whether your looking for Infant care or beyond, Kindergarten is going to come FAST so be sure to think about it now!
2. “How do you take care of your teachers?”
Might seem silly but this is such an important question! Anyone in any level of education knows that kids are downright hard. It takes some amazing individuals to teach day in and day out.
By simply asking how a program takes care of their teachers can give you a lot of insight into what goes on behind the scenes. If you get stammered answers or a deer in the headlights look, it can be surmised that the teacher’s mental health and well-being isn’t at the top of anyone’s to-do list. This truly is something that should be considered as the happier the teacher, the better (we all assume) the care of the kids will be.
3. “Do you have a camera system?”
It’s crazy to think that in 2018 not every program has a camera system! Our society is way too far advanced for this to be the case. So, with that being said you want to ask and see! Beyond that, ask if that camera system records, if parents can login and look throughout the day, and the security that goes behind the logins.
On the days when your child has rough drop-offs it’s always a great thing to be able to login and see that the 10 minutes of tears has passed, and your child has now moved on and is actively playing with the other children!
4. Ask about the teachers, administration and owners!
Who are the people that you are going to partner with to help teach your child! Parenting is a partnership even beyond your child’s first 18 years. Don’t be afraid to create conversation with your child’s teacher about what’s going on in the home, or if you have questions about certain behaviors your child is exhibiting. Ultimately you want a program that is going to teach like you parent! Whether your family is all about self-problem solving or if you guys tackle problems as a team, it’s good to know what your teacher’s style is like!
We also feel as though it’s important to ask if the program you’re looking into is corporate or family-run. While both have great benefits, sometimes families prefer one over the other! If you like the corporate programs, investigate the core values of the “big guys” and see if you can see that in the program. If you like family-run, see if you have a chance to meet the family running it, that’s huge!
Other things to look at are:
- The playground areas, do they look gated and safe?
- How do the classrooms look, are they organized or more than what you’d expect to be messy?
- Does it smell like bodily fluids as soon as you walk through the front door? No one wants that…
- Do the teachers acknowledge and greet you when you walk into their classroom?
- Is there a pin or security entry as you walk into the door?
Some helpful tips, right? Everything about picking out a preschool or daycare is important so don’t feel as though you’re being pushy or asking “too many” questions. Your child IS the most important thing in the world, remember that above all else!
Taylor Bishop says
Thanks for explaining some things to ask a potential daycare. I appreciate that you mentioned it’s important to learn how a program takes care of their teachers, since happy teachers can take care of kids better. It also seems important to ask the teachers themselves especially if it can help you understand their situation better.