What Should You Look For In A Child Care Provider?
Nothing is more precious than your children. When you have to leave your children at daycare facilities, your should be able to expect thorough, careful attention for your kids. However, not all daycare workers act as responsibly as they should, potentially leading to serious or even deadly injuries. It is important for you to research and thoroughly check out any child care provider with whom you plan on leaving your children.
How to Check Out a Child Care Provider
Here in Pennsylvania, the law has licensing requirements that all childcare providers must meet. A list of licensed providers can be found on the Department of Welfare’s website. Always look for a licensed provider for your child’s daycare.
There are a number of steps that you might take to check out a provider before you choose to entrust it with your children.
- Give yourself time to look. You don’t want to have to rush yourself.
- Review the licensing requirements. Check and see if the provider has any complaints or licensing violations. It doesn’t hurt to look on sites such as the Better Business Bureau since you might find complaints there as well as in official locations.
- Research the child care provider online. Check for reviews, positive and negative.
- Visit the location. Find out if you can do an unannounced visit. Ask a lot of questions. Check and see if the location is clean. Watch how the caregivers interact with the children. Are the caregivers on the floor playing or are they sitting at a distance barely paying attention?
- Find out about the adult to child ratio. If there are too many children per adult, your child won’t be supervised closely enough. A greater ratio is acceptable for older children than for infants.
- Ask about the qualifications. Who is hired to care for the children? Do they have appropriate training? Do they stay on top of their education by attending additional seminars?
- What are the philosophies of the provider? Do they have similar ideas about child rearing to you? You want to make sure that your child won’t be getting mixed messages.
- What does the provider do if the child misbehaves? Time-outs or something stronger?
- How long has the provider been in business? How long have the employees been with that provider?
- Has the provider ever been known under a different name? If the provider had issues and changed its name, you want to know that. Research the old name too.
- Is the provider accredited by any national organizations that suggest it will meet higher standards than required by the state?
- How often will you be able to meet with the caregiver once your child is at the provider? Can you get reports and updates? Communication is important.
- What does the provider do if conflicts arise? What is the process?
- Follow your gut instincts. We have instincts for a reason. If you don’t think the child care provider is the right one for you, move on and find a different one.
What Problems Happen at Child Care?
Fortunately, most of the time, if something happens it isn’t serious. But sometimes major problems can happen when your vulnerable children are at child care. These problems include:
- Inadequate supervision resulting in injury
- Failure to prevent fights between children
- Not feeding or providing water to the children
- Allowing children to play with toys that are not approved for their ages
- Not preventing access to allergens
- Allowing the child to leave with an unapproved adult
- Failing to respond to a medical emergency
- Child molestation or abuse
If an irresponsible daycare worker has allowed harm to come to your child, it is important to fight back against this individual so that he or she does not endanger any more lives. Contact us if your child has been injured while at child care. We will listen to what happened and tell you whether we can help.