No matter what kind of care you want for your child, finding the right option can take time–so you should start the search as early as possible. Begin by calling local agencies and other child care resources. They can give you some information on child care, and refer you to day care in Saratoga Springs, NY.
When you’ve assembled a list of child care centers in your area, visit each center you’re considering. While there, find out as much as possible about the center’s:
Child to adult ratio: The fewer children for every adult, the better the center is likely to be. Every parent wants their child to get enough attention, especially if the child is young. Look for centers with a child to adult ratio of 4:1 (for babies) and 10:1 for children four years of age and older.
Group sizes: As with the child to adult ratio, the smaller, the better. Comparing a group of 25 toddlers and five adults, to one of ten children with two adults. Both have the same ratio, but the smaller group would be safer and calmer.
Staff qualifications: Caregivers with a specialty in working with children, or those with degrees can help your child learn more efficiently. Find out if the caregivers are involved in continuing education, and how much training they’ve received.
Staff turnover: Ask how long the center has been in business, and ask how long each staff member has worked there. For the best results, children and caregivers should be together for at least a year. If a child continually has to get used to new teachers, they are using energy and time that could be devoted to learning.
Provider accreditation: Determine if the provider has national accreditation. If the center is accredited, they meet standards that exceed states’ licensing requirements.
Making a Decision
Once you’ve visited each of the child care centers on your list, consider what you discovered at each visit. Choose the center that suits your family and your child’s personality. Once you place your child in the Teddy Bear Day Care Center, your job isn’t over. Take the time to meet with your child’s caregivers regularly, and offer to help whenever you can. Being an active participant in your child’s care sends a message–that you value the opportunity for your child to learn and grow.