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How to Choose the Right Toddler Daycare: A Parent’s Guide

Choosing a Rockville child care center for your toddler is a big deal. You must be happy with your choice and make sure your child is in a safe and caring place. Before putting your child in a child care center, you should check out each in person to ensure it’s a good fit. You can see how the program works, what your child will do on a typical day, and how the teachers interact with and work with the kids by visiting. You can see the schools and play areas and ask questions when you visit.

Which Factors Should a Parent Consider When Choosing a Childcare Option?

Information collected from the 2019 National Household Education Surveys program shows that parents usually think about many things when deciding where to put their young children. The Early Childhood Program Participation survey found that 59 percent of 5-year-old children attended a childcare facility. This could be care from a relative other than a parent, care from a nonrelative, or going to preschool or daycare.

The parents of these kids were asked to rate how important different factors were to them when picking a care arrangement for their kid. Most people said that the arrangement’s dependability was “very important,” making reliability the most important factor when choosing the right childcare center; after this factor, the availability of care times and staff skills came in at 75 and 72 percent, respectively. Most parents of children also said the following things were essential: activities, the center’s location, spending time with other kids, and cost.

How Do I Choose the Right Childcare?

Picking the right school for your child can feel daunting, and leaving them in someone else’s care can be concerning. Don’t worry, though. High-quality child care places keep kids safe and give them fun, friendly activities to do. Before you pick a school, here are some important things you should think about to make sure you make the right choice.

Research

Talk to other parents at work, your friends, and your child’s doctor. If you don’t know any other parents, you could ask people you meet at the playground, in the waiting room for your OB/GYN, or at a mommy-and-me class. You can also look online for services to help you find child care or call the state’s regulatory body.

Interviews

Call daycare centers and in-home care companies to find out more. If you can’t make it to the center or the staff needs to be more helpful, cross it off the list of child care centers you plan to visit.

Schedule an In-person Visit

After you’ve made a short list, visit the daycare center in person to ensure it meets all the requirements. Afterward, believe your gut. If something feels wrong to you, it most likely isn’t good for your baby, either.

References

Call past and present clients to find out how pleased they and their children are with the childcare services. It may be tempting to trust the glowing letters of approval that providers give you but don’t. It’s easy to change or even fake letters.

Teacher and toddlers playing meals using plastic food and cutlery toy at daycare.

What is the Best Age to Put a Child in Daycare?

Just after a kid turns one is the best time for them to start daycare. At this age, a child’s speaking, social, and motor skills are all improving quickly. Toddlers can learn and explore at daycare, where there are always new people to meet and fun things to do.

However, parents may run into several problems, even though early toddlerhood is the best time to start babysitting. That’s because toddlers are still a lot like babies; they need to be watched all the time, have short attention spans, and often get anxious when left alone.

What are the Characteristics of High-Quality Child Care?

Certain traits determine how likely a child care center will be good. When looking for a Rockville daycare, parents should generally look for one that offers a safe and caring space while also offering a fun educational experience. It’s much easier for parents to choose a daycare center when they know exactly what to look for, and the kids who go have a lot more fun.

Group Sizes

Caregivers can spend more time with each student when class sizes are small. Another benefit is that it helps daycare workers get to know the kids better, making them feel safer.

Teacher Training

When a center hires people who have taught early childhood development before, they know how to ensure the lessons are age- and developmentally appropriate. It’s also helpful to be a part of an education program that pushes its leaders and staff to improve their skills. This gives them the chance to adapt to the constantly changing educational system.

Positive Interactions

Watching how the caregivers at a child care center talk to the kids is important. It could mean the caregivers need to be more organized and lead better if they look tense or exhausted. The kids should be in a good place where learning looks fun and natural, not like a mess.

Licensing

Child care facilities that fulfill the requirements for minimal licensure and national certification show they have the capacity and the desire to give their clients better care than the average. It demonstrates that they have high standards and the results to back it up.

Toddler girl molding colorful modeling clay.

Final Thoughts

Finding high-quality child care in Rockville, MD, does not have to be a headache. A creative, learning-rich environment that is both safe and supportive for all individuals can be created by adhering to the ideas and rules that have been presented above.

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