This post is sponsored by KinderCare Learning Centers. All opinions are my own.
Searching for child care is much more challenging than it looks. I remember looking for a preschool for my oldest, and feeling all the overwhelm with the many options and questions. I also felt anxious and wondered whether it was the right choice for him to go.
Our kids are our worlds, so of course we all want the best for them. We want to find the safest, kindest, most nurturing place for them, one in which the staff will take care of them as well as we would. By thinking through what we were looking for, knowing our little guy, and trusting our instincts, we finally narrowed it down to just the right choice.
We absolutely love our preschool. Based on a couple good friends’ recommendations, we set up a tour, and maybe ten minutes into it felt great about sending him there. From the beginning, the director was responsive, engaging, and super friendly. Most of all, as we toured the facility, our son loved the colorful, comfortable atmosphere, and wanted to jump right in and start playing.
While I felt great about the school, it didn’t stop me from crying like a baby on the way home from dropping him off the first day. But I truly feel like we made the right decision, and are so grateful the our son is right where he is.
Are you deep into searching for a daycare and don’t know where to start? Here are some things to think about when looking for a daycare.
- Start looking early, which can be as early as a year ahead.
- Ask your friends which schools their kids attend, and what their experience has been.
- Have a conversation with your spouse or co-parent and talk about what you’re looking for.
- Schedule a tour, and bring your child if possible, to see how they respond to the atmosphere.
Things to Consider
1. Safety / Security: What sorts of protocols and procedures do they have in place for emergencies? How can people enter and exit the facility? Are there cameras, too? How are children signed in and out? What is the hiring process like for teachers/providers?
2. In the Classroom: What is does the daily schedule look like? How is the room kept clean and sanitized? What sorts of things do I as the parent need to provide for my child? What is the disciplinary procedure? At what ratio are the teachers/providers to the children?
3. Education: What does a typical lesson plan look like? What are some of the goals for the children to achieve by the end of the year? What sorts of habits and practices will they learn? How can we help from home?
4. Food: When are meal or snack times? What food do we need to bring, and when? Are there any allergies or foods to avoid?
5. Health: What is your sick policy, and how do you handle sickness at school? How do you handle allergies and specific healthcare needs? Who administers medicines? Which members of the staff are medically trained to handle an emergency?
I’m glad to be partnering on this post with KinderCare Learning Centers, which have nearly 50 years of experience creating enriching environments and strong communities for families across the country. KinderCare strives to have a balance of qualified and compassionate teachers, a safe and inspiring atmosphere, and a spirit of exploration in their teaching style. I personally love that one of their main goals is inclusivity in their community and considering each child’s individual needs.
Interested in learning more? Visit KinderCare’s website to learn more about their educational philosophy and their core values for their communities, and to find their nearest location.
Finally, what do you look for in a daycare? What is important to you?