Finding the right child care for your babe is one of those tasks that seem daunting. While on that tour, where you will meet with the educators, see the facilities, and get a feel for what the kids there do all day, there are some daycare red flags that you need to keep in mind as you take a look at what’s going on. How do you choose someone to care for your most favorite thing in the world so you can go to work and not worry the whole time you’re there? Some of us have more options in terms of who we can choose than others. For some that’s due to location or finances or anything in between that.
If you’re going the route of a child care center, there may be a few in your area and narrowing them down should be done with a center tour. You want to make sure that where your child is going is safe, that they will have fun and maybe learn a bit, and it’s important to make sure all the check marks you have have been ticked.
If you’re about to head out on a few daycare tours, here are some daycare red flags that should get your guard up.
1. There are too many kids
Depending on where you live, there are rules in place for how the kids vs adult ratio can go. These are set so that your child is being supervised in a way that will be safe for them. That number will differ, too, depending on the age of the kids. Make sure you read up on the state guidelines for where you live and when you visit, keep that number in the back of your mind. If they’re over that — they don’t care about safety rules and might be more money than care.
2. There’s a high employee turnover
Working with kids is not easy. I couldn’t do it and so I’m sure there is a certain level of fatigue that goes on with this age group and the deets of the job. But, you want to ask about employee turnover or do some research — if it seems like they’re getting new room employees a lot, there is a feeling that the center isn’t hiring people who see this as a career or even a job that they’re passionate about. Taking care of kids and holding the responsibility of that isn’t like working a retail job.
3. The license is expired or there isn’t one
Chances are that’s illegal if you’re looking for care at a center. When you visit (or if you called ahead, ask then) get the daycare center’s license number and with that you can play detective. Google the center and the number. Check out the Department of Social Services website and see if anything pops up.
4. The center doesn’t provide any references
If the places is good, they will want to show off that they’ve got high praise. They’re going to keep references and you probably won’t have to ask for them. If they don’t offer them up, ask. If they still don’t have any that’s when you head to Google. Do a search and see if any reviews come up. But, chances are if they’re not providing any… that might not be a good sign.
5. Your gut tells you something negative
Your parent gut is there for a reason — so trust it. If your brain tells you that you’re being silly or judgmental, but that gut says MAMA NOOOOPE. Or if you just get a weird feeling from the person giving the tour. Or they didn’t like that you just popped in, sit with that feeling and trust it.
Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments and if you have any stories of wisdom do share!
(Image: iStock / Nadezhda1906)