Attending a high-quality program prepares kids for kindergarten and beyond. You may have noticed that your toddler is lighting up at playgroup children’s sight. Or maybe you don’t believe your two-year-old gets enough socialization. But it takes time and research to find the best option for your child. Do you have to consider part-time daycare? According to Sally Kotsopoulos, who teaches in the early childhood education (ECE) program at Humber College in Toronto, “Toddlers don’t need to be in an early learning and care facility to become socialized.” Young kids acquire excellent social skills through daily operations with parents and other family members, casual encounters with colleagues during a local park break, including a visit to the grocery store. Kotsopoulos added “Most toddlers aren’t ready to play co-operatively with others.” Usually this milestone is not reached until the kid is at least three years old.
So what’s the advantage of daycare? You get this explosion in language abilities and vocabulary in kids who come to day care. The other major advantage is the opportunity to develop both gross and fine motor skills. Children can swing, climb, run outdoors and play balls in a safe, supervised outdoor space at daycare. They are also supplied with products that promote dexterity in the hands, such as beads, glue, paint and puzzles with small knobs. When looking for a daycare program that will nurture the growth of your child while offering warm, caring care, here are things to consider:
How do I choose the right preschool? First, decide on location that closes to work or home. , state-funded schools, and cooperatives run by parents. Begin by asking other moms for suggestions. Next, check that the schools are state-licensed, ensuring that the facility meets safety criteria and has appropriate personnel. Call every school you are considering and ask about their fees, admission policy, and curriculum.
What should I look for during a visit? Check the basics: Is the facility secure and tidy? Keep your eyes on detectors of smoke and first aid kits. Is there an outdoor play area well maintained? Are there plenty of art materials, toys and books that are appropriate for age? Are they in a nice state? Is the atmosphere pleasant and enjoyable? The classroom should have a range of fields of operation — a reading place, an art station with accessible equipment on racks for children, a block corner, a puzzle area, and a place for naps. Not everyone should do the same thing at the same moment; they should play with toys or other children, but they should still be well supervised.
What makes a good teacher? Learn about the training and credentials of teachers. Ideally, head teachers should have at least a degree in early childhood education from an associate and formal training. Study shows that teachers with college degrees and specialized early childhood training have more beneficial relationships with kids, provide rich language experiences, and are less detached. Consider also the proportions of teacher-child. There should be at least one teacher per eight to ten 4- and 5-year-olds, and one adult per six 2- and 3-year-olds, according to NAEYC norms. Low child teacher ratios are very important because they enable teachers to give everyone ample attention. Talk to teachers how they work with their children. A good teacher is talking to kids, asking a lot of questions and responding patiently to theirs. She makes children feel welcome and fosters confidence in them. Talk to the teacher about a typical day and how she will keep you updated on the advancement of your child. You’ve discovered a nice fit if she answers your questions and you’re pleased with her responses and her classroom style.
Toddler-friendly schedule. Ask how well the day is regimented. Is there sufficient flexibility to enable kids to learn through play? Teachers should have time to listen to each child’s needs and respond to them. Also, if possible, Kotsopoulos advises parents to opt for two or three successive days instead of one day off. Toddlers don’t have highly developed memories — every time they come to daycare on alternate or occasional days they feel like the first. Parents and educators need a lot of engagement to assist a kid who arrives every other day.
Good Vibes. Do the adults have strong children’s relationships? Are they hot and sensitive? Is there a lot of talk? Ideally, with the children, you should see teachers down the ground.
Open door. Is the daycare a place that includes distinct types of families, ethnicities and kids with special needs?
Natural, soothing environment. Kotsopoulos claims she wants to see natural products, such as wooden furniture and relaxing colors, rather than a sensory overload of bold, brash color and plastic — which can be over-stimulating. She suggests a healthy daycare environment will also represent the requirements and interests of children. Rather than thematic displays produced by teachers on Halloween or Mother’s Day.
Connection to nature. Time outdoors is a must, but in addition to ensuring that children get fresh air, parents may also ask if the center provides opportunities for children to be up-close and personal with nature by playing in the grass or holding a worm in their hands.
Wholesome Menu. Ask what the children typically eat and whether the meals are balanced nutritionally. Are there alternatives for kids that don’t like lunch that day? Is it possible to send food from home?
Visit Checklist. Ask about the following when you meet the director of the school.
- Is it necessary to train my child toilet? Many pre-schools require a kid to be out of diapers.
- How is the school involving parents? A nice sign is an active parent association planning programs such as picnics for the family, holiday parties, and social parents. You may want to speak to other parents — you should be given names by the preschool.
- How does the teacher let me know about the development of my child? With newsletters, e-mails and periodic parent-teacher meetings, parents should be kept informed.
- What are you going to do when two kids fight? It is essential that you agree with the discipline policy of the school.
- What’s the everyday routine? Every day you want your child to feel predictable — time for the circle, snack, reading.
Parents have confidence in your instincts. You should feel that the kids come first in your gut.