When looking for a child care center, you’ll want to find a place you connect with, one that shares your values and makes your child comfortable. But in the middle of all that touchy-feely stuff, don’t forget about safety.
If your child’s safety cannot be ensured, there is no point in further consideration of a center, no matter how much the director reminds you of your grandmother.
- – Child-to-staff ratio of 3:1 for infants; 4:1 for 2-year-olds and 7:1 for 3-year-olds and older
- – Constant supervision
- – Staff trained in early child development and education, knowledge of common concerns like ADHD and autism are a plus
- – A written policy for the care of ill children
- – Safe sleep environment
- – Safe and clean play environment. Find out how often and with what chemicals they clean the common play items.
- – Diapering area should be clear of common play and sleep areas
- – Cleaning supplies should be out of reach and locked away
- – First aid kit, fire extinguisher, smoke alarms and emergency numbers should be visible
- – Electrical outlets covered
- – Security gates where needed
- – Outside play areas enclosed with soft surfaces
- – A written emergency evacuation plan that is practiced by the children
If food is prepared there, check out the food storage. Check the temperature of the refrigerator. Is the pantry food stored in sealed containers? Make sure knives are out of reach. Check any heated cooking device to make sure your child cannot touch.
You will probably feel better preparing your own food. But if the center has a menu prepared in advance, you can pick which meals are safe for your child. Make sure the center is prepared in advance to work with the allergy. They should avoid cross-contamination. They should also have a plan if your child has an allergic response under their care. It would be wise to create a written allergy-response plan and give it to them.