As a parent, you want your child to have the best Rockville day care experience possible. However, it’s incumbent that you do some research to assure that experience. While reviewing online resources available, about centers in your area, is an excellent start, it’s advisable that you also conduct an in-person walk-about to see the facilities first hand.
Things to Consider
There are many factors that go into making a day care center an “ideal” place for your child. However, the search for all ideal conditions may sometimes prevent you from getting the best child care available. Here are some minimal guidelines that you should consider using when you begin your quest:
- HEALTH & SAFETY FIRST! Above all, the safety of your child is paramount! Before you enroll your child for day care in Rockville, check the facility for some basic safety concerns. Unshielded power outlets are easy to spot as you walk about, and so too are lack of fire exits, emergency lighting and sprinklers and fire extinguishers.
- TOYS & PLAY: One reason that your child (not someone else’s – but yours!) will look forward to going to day care is because of the toys and games they’ll have access to. As a parent, that makes your job of motivating them so much easier. Make sure the center has age-appropriate toys and games, especially some that your child will enjoy. Take especial note of toys with small, removable parts that might pose a choke hazard.
- FOOD & NUTRITION: Although healthy foods are an integral part of any day care’s routine, validating what meals they serve might be harder to do in a walk-about visit. Ask to see the Rockville day care centers’ meal menu to assure yourself that the foods are nutritious, and include some choices that your child likes. Specifically, make note of the meal schedule, as well as ask whether there is flexibility for an occasional “made at home” treat that you could send along for your child.
- HYGIENE & CLEANLINESS: Here’s another aspect of a center’s operations that anyone can verify, to some extent, in a walk-about. Make sure the center is diligent about maintaining a dust-free and clutter less environment. Check if there are adequate sanitization stations for visitors and staff. Ask about the establishments washing, dusting and cleaning protocols.
- CHILD-TO-TEACHER RATIO: Ideally, the more teaching staff the center has, the better your child’s learning experiences will be. A cursory look, especially during drop-offs and pickups, may tell you whether the center is adequately staffed. At minimum, ask about the ratio of teachers to children, and make sure your choice for day care in Rockville conforms to the recommendations National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Making The Final Decision
Before choosing a Rockville day care center where children spend a good part of most weekdays, it’s important that you also get “buy in” from your child. How do you do that? Well, accompanying the child on your pre-selection walk-about might be a good first step. As you evaluate each item on your checklist, don’t hesitate to talk to and communicate with your child, watching their expressions for any signs of pleasure or stress.