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Finding a Child Care Center for Your Young Child: Some Important Considerations

By Eva Verda

There is a growing need for daycare facilities as more parents, especially mothers of preschool age children are forced to find work outside their home. Making a choice on a nursery center is one of the most essential choices that a working parent will make to help ensure the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of their child while they must be away from them. It can be also a stressful decision, and many consider choosing a daycare center for their child as one of those necessary evils in life.

First, you will need to calculate the amount of hours needed to care for your young child. Will you need someone to look after him a few hours a day, a couple of times a week, or full-time care for at least 30 to 40 hours a week?

Next, review the different kinds of child care available. You could start by making a list of the locations in the area of the city that is going to be the most practical in terms of dropping off and picking up your little one. When choosing a daycare center, select one that’s not too small, i.e. has more than one employee. When selecting a center, experts say parents should seek out a program that is certified and licensed, meaning it meets basic requirements, and that it is accredited by a professional organization.

Parents should pay special attention to how well the center is organized. Look around and see if the facility is child friendly, for example, if toys and materials are within reach of a child to make it accessible for the child to help him/herself. The value of attentive, child-centered personnel is the reason parents to be thorough when deciding on a child care facility. Talk to other moms and dads who send their little ones to childcare.

Visit at least three programs. Bring your child with you. When you go, examine the play area, the caregiver(s), and the children. Does it look clean and safe for every age child there? Is there an adequate amount of space inside and out so all the children can have area to relax and play? Do the toys promote different styles of play, such as creative play, building projects, plus arts and crafts?

When picking a provider, it is very important that you be well-informed. Talk to the provider and ask lots of questions. For example, some questions to ask: What are the opening and closing hours? How many children do you care for and what are their ages? Are the groups small enough to provide one-on-one attention to each child during the day? Are meals provided or should I bring food for my child? Am I allowed to I stay and watch my child play?

Ask the caregiver if you may talk with other parents who use that home or center. If you do talk with other parents, here are some questions that might help you. Does your child enjoy going there? What do you like most about this child care? What are some of the things that you don’t like? If you had to find care again, would your child still go there?

When observing the interaction in between the teachers and children, ask yourself: Did the teacher use a relaxed voice and talk to the children on their level? Does the caretaker reward achievements and help solve conflicts? Do the caretakers appear to like and respect the children? Are the children doing activities that suit their age and stage of development? Keep in mind that activities that are too tough will be frustrating, but children learn from new activities that are interesting and slightly challenging. Are they allowed to select activities that interest them? Do the children have a daily schedule which allows for indoor and outdoor play, rest time if appropriate, and time for both individual play and group play?

Deciding on the best daycare center can be a daunting task. If you are in the northern New Jersey area, looking for child care in NJ, we invite you to come to talk to us about your childcare needs. Our private, full day, year long program was created for children who are creative, individualistic, curious, competent and imaginative.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Verda, Eva "Finding a Child Care Center for Your Young Child: Some Important Considerations." Finding a Child Care Center for Your Young Child: Some Important Considerations. 18 Jan. 2011. 1 Oct 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Verda, E (2011, January 18). Finding a Child Care Center for Your Young Child: Some Important Considerations. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Verda, Eva "Finding a Child Care Center for Your Young Child: Some Important Considerations"

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