What should you be looking for in the best provider for your child?
When you hire a child care provider, you want a guarantee your child will receive the best care possible. It’s likely you have had enough horror stories of children being mistreated in daycare establishments. However, for one horror story you may have heard, there are tons of wonderful child care providers doing a splendid job.
The challenge is not in knowing which child care provider is right for your child, but the ones you should avoid. This is because it’s almost impossible to tell the difference; unless you look closely. If you do, you will notice a few telltale signs of a care provider who isn’t right for you. Let’s look at a few of these danger signs.
1. Your Concerns Are Repeatedly Ignored
If you notice issues or requests you raise about your child’s welfare are being ignored, or perhaps the staff are rude when you raise these issues, this is a screaming red flag your child’s welfare could be in jeopardy, especially when you are not around. If you have any question about your child’s welfare, directly approach the relevant staff and request (or even demand) an explanation. You shouldn’t feel as though you are overprotective or too picky. If the staff know and love their job, they would appreciate the fact you have raised the issue in the first place.
2. High Staff Turnover
The last thing you want is a demotivated worker attending your child. If a childcare provider has an abnormally high staff turnover, this could be a sign the workers are demotivated and unhappy with the program. Watch how they react when you drop in unannounced such as during your lunch break. Do they discourage you from doing this or ask you to call first next time? This could be an indication they are not keen on their job.
3. Evident Lack of Proper Training
A child care provider must be trained in early childhood education. This training equips them with the knowledge they need to nurture your child. Ideally, one worker should handle not more than five small children. For children aged 7 to 10 years, one worker is ideal. If a provider isn’t trained in early childhood education, or if they are understaffed, you might want to find a new care provider.
4. Poor Safety Standards
One of the key indicators of a professional child care provider is their keenness on the safety of your child. Find out if they know all the emergency phone numbers. The playground they take your child to should also be secure and safe for children to play. There should also be measures in place to prevent children from climbing on counters and other dangerously elevated areas. If the workers are not aware of critical emergency procedures or the playground is not fenced, you may have to keep looking.
5. Cleanliness Standards Are Low
The child care provider should help keep the home spotlessly clean. If it is not, keep looking for one who does. Besides cleaning and disinfecting toys and strictly enforcing hand-washing rules, make sure they keep all surfaces clean and disinfected at all times. You don’t want your child to fall sick from poor cleaning standards.
6. Poor or Lack of Communication
A professional care provider should encourage interactions with you. They should invite your involvement in the welfare of your children. They should also arrange family meetings between the staff and parents to brief them on their children’s progress. These meetings act as a medium of communication where parents get their questions answered and concerns addressed. If a provider does not avail such avenues of communication and feedback, you are better off looking elsewhere.