Searching For Better Childcare, Part II

Many parents are not completely happy with their childcare provider but may feel stuck or not sure what to look for. Here are tips on where to search and some subtle cues to look for in a potential childcare provider:

Where to Look

  • Contact a quality childcare resource like Indiana’s Huffer Memorial Children’s Center
  • Look for providers that participate in voluntary certification programs like Paths to Quality in Indiana.
  • Ask trusted friends which childcare provider they use and then schedule a tour.
  • Ask your child’s schoolteacher or pediatrician if they have any recommendations.

Cues to Look for When Touring

1. Consistent Teachers

Make sure that your child will have the same teacher for the majority of the day, every day. Ensure that transitions between teachers or classrooms are organized and smooth.

2, Backup for Teachers at All Times

This is mandated legally, but do they really have enough back up? Do all teachers have a quick, easy way to communicate to supervisors if they need help? Many centers use an intercom system in each room to make this possible.

3. Positive Environment

Though it is not measurable, this will probably be clear when you tour the facility. Grumpy staff or a negative atmosphere when you visit indicates additional issues.

4. Calm and Happy Teachers

How is the countenance of the teachers when you visit? While constant cheerfulness is not a realistic expectation, professionals will be able to present a calm, positive attitude regardless of the circumstance. This allows children to feel safe and secure in their environment.

When looking for a new provider, Take A Tour of each facility and never be afraid to ask questions.