5 Things to Look for in a Potential Daycare Center

Arranging childcare is often one of the most stressful parts of being a working parent. Not only do you want a safe, stimulating environment, but you want one in which your child is loved and cared for with the attention you would give to them. One of the first steps to finding a daycare that’s a good fit is taking a tour but, when you’re on your tour, it can be hard to know just what you’re looking for. Check out the list below for some key things you should look for on your daycare tour!

daycare center
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{ MORE: How to Prepare for Your Baby's First Day of Daycare }

Long-term staff

One of the best indicators of a quality daycare center is low staff turnover. When the people who care for your little one are happy and satisfied, they are more likely to provide the gentle, loving care you want for your baby.

Open space

While having a selection of open-ended toys is nice, safe open spaces can be even more impactful on your little one's daycare experience. When your baby has room to move around without feeling crowded by their peers, they’re more likely to explore and begin to feel at home in their environment.

Staff-to-child ratios

While all licensed daycares will have staff-to-child ratios that are enforced by the state, some daycares may try to bend the rules while others enforce ratios that exceed state requirements. When you’re on your daycare tour be sure to ask about ratios and how the daycare center handles it when regular staff members are out sick.

Outdoor space

There’s plenty of evidence that outside time is good for kids. A high-quality daycare center will not only have a great, open outdoor space, they’ll use it with their kids as much as possible. When the weather is pleasant there’s no reason for kids to be inside much at all!

{ MORE: Headed Back to Work Soon? Check Out These Tips to Help You Get Out the Door on Time }

A written discipline policy

While there won’t be much discipline happening in the infant room, knowing how a potential daycare center handles discipline will ensure that you’re not caught off guard by a policy you don’t agree with later on.

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5 Things to Look for in a Potential Daycare Center

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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