Finding the right child care provider can be difficult. It depends on asking the right questions and doing a thorough evaluation for each child care option. Here are some questions to ask to find a quality child care provider.
What is the Staff to Child Ratio?
The ratio of child care providers to children can tell you a lot about the quality of the facility. More caretakers means more resources and attention devoted to each child. When you choose a care center with a low child to staff ratio, you can expect that your child will be well looked after and any potential issues will be attended to before they get out of hand.
More staff also means that each caretaker can focus on a few children and develop a closer relationship with them. If you are interested in a child care center that provides an educational boost, then these well-staffed centers can be a boon; your staff may be able to devote some attention to helping your child learn a great pre-K curriculum.
What is the Turnover Rate?
Turnover is another statistic that can give you some insight about quality child care. If you find a facility with a low turnover rate, it may be your best bet for finding caregivers that are dedicated to your child's development. When staff stay for a long time at the facility, they can develop deeper relationships with the children and become a bigger role model for them. A low turnover rate also hints that the staff are happy and treated well, which can spill over into the quality of their work.
What is the Care Philosophy?
Another thing to ask any child care center is their philosophy on child care. Many of the best child care centers are run with a specific vision in how they want to run the facility, whether that's a focus on structure, social learning, or individualized care. A child care center that can't point out their strongest philosophies may not have strong goals outside of attracting a lot of clients. Staff who can speak strongly about their child-care goals, on the other hand, may be more interested in the development of those under their care.
As you can see, many different factors go into great quality child care. There are a few key things that can help you identify the best child care centers, and asking the right questions is a great diagnostic tool.