Choosing child care is a big decision involving quality of care, budget, location and trust. Finding a child care center where your child is happy, safe and learning to thrive is every working parent’s ideal. There are hundreds of child care centers and home-based childcare programs in Johnston County.
How do you make the best choice?
Whether you’re looking for child care provided at a center or a home-based program, there are some things you need to check out. If you’d like help making your choice, the Partnership for Children is part of a regional Child Care Search Program.
child care centers should be
welcoming to parents
If you prefer to check out nearby centers on your own, here are some suggestions for things you need to find out. Look at their website carefully to get a feel for the facility and location, then call to see when you can stop by.
ask these questions on the phone
ask these Questions when you visit
as you walk around a facility
Make sure electric outlets are covered, first aid equipment is easily available, the outdoor area is fenced, a fire escape plan is posted and any cleaning supplies are locked up and out of reach of children. All the children should be supervised by an adult at all times.
While in the classroom, make sure the teacher is taking part in the activities and not sitting off to the side. The teacher should talk to the children in a way in which they can understand and relate to. Make sure that the children seem happy and are enjoying each other and their teacher. Check to make sure there is a variety of toys and activities that are easily accessible to the children and appropriate for the ages of the children in the classroom.
After you’ve had a scheduled visit with each facility you’re considering, it’s a good idea to drop by unannounced at least once. Does everything look the same as it did before? Are the children playing freely, are they engaged with their teachers?
Quality Child Care
once you have made your decision
Talk to your child about what to expect at the center or home.
- Show them any pictures on the website
- Talk positively about this new adventure
When you drop your child off, say good bye and make sure you explain you are coming back to pick him or her up at a certain time. This reassures your child and reduces separation anxiety especially if this is the first time he/she is going to a child care facility.