So you’ve begun researching potential child care options for your child. Many parenting books and blogs will strongly encourage you to visit child care centers before making a decision. In fact,visiting child care centers is more than just a suggestion—it’s a requirement if you want to be certain your child is in a safe, educational, and friendly environment.
While Montessori child care may differ in some ways from other child care options, there are certain things that indicate a good child care center across the board, such as:
- An open door policy
- A reasonable adult-to-child ratio
- Healthy meals
- Clean and safe facilities
- A caring and qualified staff
An open door policy
A good center will be welcoming and accommodating to visitors regardless of whether or not they set up an appointment ahead of time. If a child care center won’t let you drop in unannounced, they likely have something to hide.
A reasonable adult-to-child ratio
Children require a lot of care and attention. An understaffed center is bound to have problems down the road. Ratios change as children get older so be sure to know what to expect for your child’s age group.
Most likely, your child will be eating at least 1 meal a day at their child care center. Eating habits start early so healthy food options are essential to a good center.
Clean and safe facilities
This may sound like common sense, but some child care facilities are so flashy you forget to look for more basic qualifications. Be sure to know the difference between a mess made from finger paint and a mess made by mold or mucus.
A Caring & Qualified Staff
Take the time to get to know the adults who will be spending the most time with your child after you. Even if the child care center isn’t Montessori-specialized, they should still be licensed.