There are, however, several ways to determine whether the child care facility you choose is a high quality one, and that your child is getting the best:
Look for childcare facilities where all the regulations governing such operations are adhered to.
Ensure that policies and procedures are set out in writing.
Look for a facility with qualified and experienced staff.
Make sure that security and safety are a priority, and that things like access, and first aid, are done in accordance to documented procedures.
Good childcare facilities will also have detailed record keeping processes, and they will allow parents access on request, at any time.
The adults involved in child care should be enthusiastic, engaged in their jobs, and have a friendly, open and welcoming nature.
Child care professionals should be positive about their work – even the unpleasant tasks like nappy changing – and they should be respectful of children.
Most importantly, adult caregivers should enjoy working with children – not see them as a problem or a hassle.
Another important sign of a good childcare facility is that there are plenty of opportunities for varied play. Your child should have access to imaginary play, like a dress up box, age appropriate developmental toys, toys where they can use physical skills, such as tricycles, and outdoor play areas. The more varied and high quality the play opportunities, the more your child will learn. Other types of creative play, such as painting or drawing, threading beads, and access to books, are all more signs of a quality child care option.
While the various play areas that make up the preschool or child care class room should be distinct, children should be allowed to play as they wish. Too rigid a class schedule at this age doesn’t do your child any favours!
If the child care you are considering offers all of this, and teachers or caregivers who are good at planning, believe in positive reinforcement and not punishment, and the facility is clean, well staffed and well run, then there’s a good chance you’ve found great child care!