How to Choose Day Care Centre for Your Child
One of the most challenging tasks as a parent is to choose a day care centre for your toddler. There are many factors that affect this crucial decision.
Here a few tips that will help you decide on a suitable centre for day care in Mumbai:
- Look around: When you are weighing a child care centre, observe how their staff is interacting with children. Most suitably, the caregiver must be seated on the ground, with a child on her lap or be playing with the kids. In the infancy stage, kids need close, loving relationships with care givers. The first caregivers of babies must be warm and responsive. Even if toddlers are in groups, there must be enough caregiver staff to provide one to one attention to each.
- Demand a commitment: All babies require predictable, consistent care. This helps them develop secure attachment to care givers. When you are considering a day care centre, as them how long their staff has been working for them and what is the nature of staff turnover experienced by the centre.
- Check the policy: Check how the centre agrees on principles of parenting like discipline (scolding or punishing), TV (on or off all day), feeding (drinks or snacks), sleep (when do they nap or are how to deal with fussy nappers) etc. An important issue is whether there is any back up plan when staff or care giver fails to turn up.
- Surprise checks: Though the day care centre may come highly recommended by word of mouth, you need to check for yourself. Any day care must be kept tidy, child proof and well stocked with age appropriate toys and books. Ideally infants should have their own safe areas, away from older kids. Babies need plenty of floor space for their growth and strengthening of muscles. To assess this, drop in to the centre at different times to observe facilities and check on behaviour of care givers with the babies. You may pop in unannounced at the centre to check on how your baby is doing. A surprise visit may be a real eye-opener.
- Good communication: Since baby cannot converse, you need to communicate well with care giver to check on his or her progress in the centre. You can inform the caregiver in the morning about details like how the baby napped the previous night or if she is having any teething problems. The caregiver must communicate details of the baby’s day at the centre when she is being picked up to go home.
- Settle any issues: It is possible that you may experience conflicts, large or small, with the caregiver. Deal with such issues as soon as they arise lest they grow out of proportion. Solutions can be arrived at through discussion and a mutually respectful attitude. Being a parent, you have the right to the last word, but it is vital to elicit the cooperation of the care giver.
- Trust your instincts: As a parent, you can trust your instincts. You might dislike a highly recommended day care centre. If this happens, begin a search for a new place for your toddler.
Babies grow and thrive when they get nurturing care. When something doesn’t feel right, feel free to explore other options.
These are some tips to keep in mind while choosing from day care centres in Mumbai.