Choosing the best childcare - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Choosing the best childcare

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By Meggan Gray – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's pretty common these days for both parents to have to work in order to pay the bills.  And that means many parents with infants and toddlers are turning to childcare providers to look after their children during the day.  But choosing a daycare can be a bit of a challenge.  Here are some things the folks from Excel by five suggest you keep in mind when looking for quality childcare. 

  • Appearance - First thing you notice when you visit a childcare center, is how it looks.  Is it clean and free of odors? Can you see the state licensing certificate?  
     
  • Accessibility - Look around the room.   Are things displayed at eye level for children?  Are there plenty of age-appropriate books available for kids to read? What about play areas with art stations, puzzles, and blocks?
     
  • Teachers - Take time to notice how the teachers are interacting with students.  What is the student-to-teacher ratio?  What activities are they doing? How does the staff respond to children in distress?
     
  • Credentials – Is the center's state licensing certificate easily visible? What are the teachers' educational credentials? Do they participate in any ongoing development programs?
  • Parent Involvement - You may want to ask if parents are allowed to visit the center any time of day without having to call first.  Also ask if parents are routinely informed about their child's activities.   Some centers even send home report cards and daily activity sheets for parents to review.

This checklist may seem simple, but the questions you ask may be vital to your child's success while they're away from you.  To learn more, visit Excel by 5.

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