Child Care – What to Search For
Is Professional Childcare Right For Your Family?
Things to Consider When Choosing a Provider
Starting the child care hunt early on gives a parent or caretaker time to assess what type of care is best for his or her little one and which options are most accessible. The parent can begin by researching and deciding on the type of professional child care desired and move on from there.
Type of Child Care
A myriad of options are available for child care in San Antonio. A parent may feel most comfortable choosing a licensed at-home daycare for a young baby, desire a preschool that incorporates play-centered academics or want more of a co-op nursery, where parental involvement is typically much higher than a traditional child care center. There are also a variety of care taking and early childhood teaching philosophies like Montessori or Waldorf that stress the importance of the whole child and emphasize creative play/work, outdoor activities and “whole child learning” over formal academic training.
The type of care chosen depends on how much individual attention the parent wants for the child, what kind of parenting/discipline/caretaking philosophies s/he holds and what activities s/he’d like the child to be engaged in during the day. Visiting different programs during the day, asking friends and family for referrals, checking online user review sites and going through parenting groups can help produce a number of leads.
Regardless of the type of care chosen, it’s important that a child spends his or her day in a positive, nurturing environment where physical, mental and emotional needs are consistently met. Observing a center or program for about an hour can help a parent see how teachers/care takers interact with the children and give him/her a chance to see what kind of facilities and activities the program offers as well as class size and overall demeanor of the other children.
A San Antonio parent should look for constant supervision of all children, even during naps. Discipline from caregivers should always be positive, direct and calm. If diapering is involved, staff should wash hands often, have a sanitized area specifically for that purpose, consistently clean a diapering area after use and encourage hand washing and general hygiene in classrooms with older children. The center should be adequately baby/toddler/child proofed, with toxic chemicals locked away, no presence of toxic substances in the building, and adequate emergency plans/alarms in use.
Ensuring a child attends a center with qualified teachers/directors is extremely important. Licenses are generally always displayed, and the program should have all teacher qualifications/certifications on child for your review. Anyone in contact with the children should have gone through a thorough background check and have received adequate first aid/medication training.
If the parent has further specific questions or concerns about a center, a good program will ensure that communication is open, and all parental concerns are thoroughly addressed. Though the hunt for child care may seem daunting, keeping these tenants in mind can help the San Antonio parent to narrow down choices and ensure that his/her child is receiving the best care available.