Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Common concerns when joining a kid in day care

It is very much important to choose a good day care when leaving our kid with them for a very long time. While choosing a day care the important things you should consider are:

1. Choose a day care which is near to your work place (it will be easier for you to drop/pick the kid). If u dont find any, near to ur work place then search for the day cares near to your home
2. Talk to friends if they had any reviews
3. Visit the centers that u have short listed. And This is the criteria u have to look for:
a. look for their daily schedule, overall neatness, teachers friendliness, cost of the program, lunch and snack menu
b. If yours is a hot area, make sure that outside play area is covered
c. Nap time must be definitely followed so that kids doesn't get tired by evening
d. If u r a vegetarian, check if they have vegetarian menu otherwise make sure they should allow you to send home made food
e. If there are any friends kids in that center, its a major PLUS
4. If possible try to send him/her for few hours (2 to 3 hrs) for the first few days and then join in regular hours
5. If u both r working try to adjust work hours so that the kid would be 6-7hrs in the day care so that they dont get too tired
(composed from the reply of our TIA member Lakshmi Kalyani for poornima's query)

Response 1

When i did some research on this Day Care issue, I found an interesting article dealing with all the day care issues. I thought it would be helpful to everyone who wanted to join their kid in day care and sharing it here:

With the number of children in day care, it should be very reassuring to parents that recent studies have shown that if in a good day care environment, children can thrive and continue to grow and develop appropriately. It is therefore very important to choose a day care that provides your child with a healthy and safe environment. The following advice will help you to find the right children's day care.

Types of Day Care

There are a variety of options available if you require someone to help care for your children. You may choose in-home care, in which the care giver comes to your home. This offers the benefit of your child having individual attention and remaining in the comfort of your home, but keep in mind that in-home caregivers are unlicensed, are unsupervised for much of the day and may be expensive. Check references very carefully when choosing someone to care for your child in your home.

Another type of child care has a caregiver watching your child in their home. Family child care providers should be licensed, usually only care for a small number of children and are usually cheaper than formal day care centers. The quality of family child care providers varies greatly, so be sure to check references carefully and talk with the parents of other children that are in this person's care and who have recently left.

Day care centers are a popular alternative to home care. These are formal care centers that also must be licensed and may be for-profit or nonprofit and associated with a church or other organization. The disadvantage of day care centers is that they usually have higher group sizes and higher child to care giver ratios, so your child will be exposed to more illnesses and will not receive individualized attention.

Choosing a Day Care

Once you have decided which type of day care environment to place your child in, you will have to decide which day care to place him in. Remember that the different types of day care all have their own advantages and disadvantages and you should choose the one that you feel the most comfortable with. Some things you should look for include:

* Choose a day care that is licensed.
* Check the references of day care providers. For in home care providers, check their references from the past five years and talk with previous employers. If choosing a day care center or family child care provider, talk with other parents who have previously been or are currently under their care.
* What are the day care centers hiring qualifications for day care providers? Do they require any child development experience?
* What is the turnover rate of caregivers? Frequent turnover is not good for your child and may indicate that there is a problem with the day care center.
* Only choose a day care that allows you to make unscheduled visits.
* Make sure that group sizes (how many children are in your child's room) and child to staff ratios (how many children does each caregiver look after) aren't too large. Your child should also be grouped with children of similar ages. Optimal sizes depend on your child's age and include:


* The day care should have policies in place on infection control, exclusion criteria for sick children, and strict immunization requirements for children and day care providers. Is a policy in place to notify parents if your child is exposed to someone with a contagious illness?
* Visit the day care and make sure that it is childproof (look for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, covers on electrical outlets, locks on cabinets, temperature of hot water, etc.), clean, has separate areas for changing diapers and preparing food, and that the children are always closely supervised. Do day care providers encourage frequent hand washing and have a strict environmental sanitation program (routine cleaning of toys and disinfecting of kitchen and bathroom surfaces)?
* Is your child provided with age appropriate toys?
* Ask about the day care center's goals (will they help your child to grow and develop at their own pace) and daily schedule for a typical day. Is this schedule consistent each day (better) or are children not given a regular routine (more difficult for most children)?
* Does the day care have a plan in place for emergencies and do all providers know basic first aid?
* How do they deal with common behavior problems, such as hitting or biting?
* Do they follow the Back To Sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, or do they allow infants to sleep on their stomachs?
* Is a strict no smoking policy in place?
* Also make sure that the day care providers position on behavior management and discipline agree with your own.
* Are day care providers able to apply care if your child has any special needs (giving medication, etc)?
* Does the day care provide feedback each day about your child's behavior, diet and sleep patterns?
* Once you choose a day care, continue to closely monitor how your child is adapting to being in another persons care.

Making the Transition to Day Care

Making the transition from caring for your child full time to moving him into a day care can be very difficult, both for you and your child. It is also difficult to know the optimal age at which to make the transition. Older children have stronger immune systems and are better able to handle being exposed to infections, but have more problems with separation anxiety. Younger children make the transition easier, but are more likely to catch upper respiratory infections and other illnesses.
Whenever you choose to start day care, you should try and make the transition gradually. It is especially important that younger children be slowly introduced to a new caregiver. If possible, visit the day care with your child for an hour or two at a time before you have to leave him alone there for the day.

Sick Child Care

You should prepare in advance for alternative care providers if your child is ill or if your child care provider becomes ill. A backup plan to have your child stay with a friend or family member, or in a specialized day care that cares for children with mild illnesses, will be important if you can not miss work.
(courtesy: keepkidshealthy.com)

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