Parents all over the world ask the same question to themselves every single day. “Where am I going to find a good daycare near me?” this can be an especially tedious task depending on where you live.
There are a few ways that you can go about looking for it, but there is a second question that is commonly asked by parents that are looking for a good daycare program for their child, and that is “does it make a difference if this is a high-quality program or not?”
This question can be incredibly stressful for some parents. After all, how does one go about quantifying what the answer to this question might be? It’s definitely a tricky one, and that’s for sure.
We can tell you with confidence that you’ll want to choose the highest quality daycare program that you possibly can, but what is the problem with lesser quality daycare programs? Today we’re going to be answering exactly that question and, hopefully, you’ll see why it makes a difference.
The Formative Years of Human Children
It’s a well-known fact that for the first few years of their lives, children’s brains are like little sponges. They absorb every little thing that you teach them incredibly quickly. It’s amazing to watch children learn and grow, and as a parent, you get to see that first hand.
That being said, programs that are of the highest possible quality will take full advantage of that to ensure that your child is learning as much as possible so they can be as ready as possible for school. A high-quality program will typically have:
- Educational enrichment for English and Math.
- Simple problem-solving puzzles that the children must maneuver every day.
- A lot of colors.
- Furniture made for children.
- Fun decorations.
By placing your children into an environment where they can feel safe while they learn, you’ll be able to be sure that they’ll be invested in their experience. In fact, many daycare programs have the children learning things without them even realizing that they’re learning.
That’s where the educational enrichment comes in. This can be something as simple as alphabet blocks, abacuses, the holes that you shove the corresponding shapes into, and even some musical toys.
This can also manifest in much more chaotic ways. Well, chaotic from an outsider’s perspective. The teacher will know exactly what they’re doing and how it will help the children. This can be games, activities, or any number of things.
Low-quality daycare programs simply won’t offer this kind of thing. They’ll watch your child and make sure that they’re fed and entertained for the day without much thought about what benefit it has for your child or any of the other children enrolled.
If you’re trying to get your child ready for the world that waits for them, you want to make sure that their daycare time is spent being prepared for the world that waits for them once they grow up. It happens a lot more quickly than you would think.
Care You Can Trust
One of the most difficult things about finding childcare for your children is being sure that you can trust the people that are going to watch your children for you. Whether you’re doing this because you need someone to watch your children or you just want them to learn more social skills, it can be hard.
That being said, lower-quality daycare programs definitely aren’t as good as some of the better ones that are available out there as far as trustability. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Not taking care of the child’s intellectual needs shows that they don’t understand children.
- Not properly understanding the children that you’re watching over can lead to subpar care.
- Sub-quality daycare centers will do less for college preparations.
These are just a few of the reasons why they’re less trustable, and the trustability of a daycare center is incredibly important considering you’re letting them watch your children. There are a lot of things that can go wrong.
Some of those things can be marginal like maybe they didn’t put your child down for a nap so they’re cranky when you go to pick them up. Sometimes those can be major issues that cause psychological issues in your child for the rest of their lives.
For example, let’s say that a daycare employee scolded your child for something that was perfectly normal behavior. Maybe they didn’t like the way your child ate their snacks and noted on it every single day.
That could end up causing an eating disorder later in life, or it could increase the odds of them developing an anxiety disorder. Of course, it can be pretty easy to accidentally give your child trauma but going to a place that isn’t great might end up hurting them even more.
Higher quality daycare centers pride themselves on knowing how children think and operate, and as such they know how to interact with them. That leads to a lot less potential for lifelong trauma being formed from the adults in the daycare center.
On top of that, daycares that know how to handle children can help with resolving conflicts in such a way that no one gets hurt physically or emotionally. That’s a win-win for your child and for all of the other children involved.
Money is Just a Number
You might think that the title of this section is telling you that you need to shell out a lot of money for a good daycare service, or that you shouldn’t worry about it being too expensive. You might be surprised to learn the exact opposite.
We think that you shouldn’t worry about how much you’re spending on daycare because the only thing that the price of a program tells you is how much it costs. It can clue you into how much funding the program has as well, but the thing about daycare is that you don’t always need an enormous budget to do it right.
There are also numerous government-subsidized programs that are free to the parent that can be some of the best programs out there, while you could find a daycare that’s $10,000 a month and the staff not have any idea what they’re doing.
So, don’t just look at how much it costs. You have to look deeper than that. Of course, you might be spending a small fortune on sending your children to the most prestigious daycare programs, but you don’t need to break the bank to make sure that your children are getting exactly what they need.
Finding a Good Daycare
There are a few things that you should look for in a daycare program to ensure that your children are going to be in good hands. Most good programs will allow you to take a look into the classroom before you decide whether or not you want to enroll your child.
While you’re in the classroom, you’re going to want to look for a few things. For example:
- How the teacher talks to and keeps control of the classroom.
- A good teacher will have no problem interacting with children and will be able to command a classroom without having to lose their cool. Lesser teachers will have a problem with this and it will show.
- Child-Sized Furniture.
- If you’re going to drop your child off at a daycare, you don’t want it to look like a night school facility. You want it to feel like somewhere that your children would want to spend their days for a short while at least.
- Child-Safe Furniture
- Let’s face it, most kids are at least a little clumsy. It’s not even entirely their fault, kids get excited about things and don’t pay attention to their surroundings. To make sure that the children in the program don’t get hurt, you should be able to see soft, rounded edges with some cushion on top rather than sharp corners. Any sharp corners are a red flag.
- Lots of Toys
- When you walk into the daycare room you should ask yourself “how would I feel about spending a significant amount of time here if I were a child?” and a plethora of toys should be a good sign. On the other hand, if there aren’t many toys you can count that as a red flag.
There are other things that you could look for, but a lot of the other things really have to do with personal preference or on a case-by-case basis. You should really mostly be concerned with safety, entertainment, and educational enrichment.
Getting the Best for Your Child
It’s hard to try and find a place to send your kids for daycare, but many people feel that daycare is essential for ensuring that their children are going to get as far as possible in life.
Ensuring that you choose a daycare that is good enough for your children can ensure that they’re getting the most out of the time that they spend in the daycare program.