Daycare centers have been in the news a lot lately. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of our children, so I thought this would be a good topic to share.
For expert advice on this topic, I turned to the folks at Care.com, an online community that connects caregivers and parents. Here are five common issues they say that parents should look at regarding a safe daycare. Let's explore each of these items.
1. Lack of Adequate Supervision
Their rule of thumb is that infants and toddlers should be in sight at all times and young children should be supervised at all times. Some advice for parents includes asking about the daycare centers group size and caregiver to child ratio.
2. Staff is Under-Trained
Daycare centers should have operational health, safety and security policies in place and all staff should be regularly trained on these policies and procedures. Advice for parents includes talking to the daycare center management about their employee training program and ask to see copies of the staff's first aid and CPR cards.
3. Medication Administered Improperly
Careless or improper medication delivery to your child can result in poisoning. An option is administering your child's medication at home, if that is practical. If you must bring medication to the daycare center, ensure that it is in the original bottle/package, with dosage information clearly written for staff to see. Also, speak with the daycare center staff about any allergies your child has and understand their protocol regarding epi-pens.
4. Lack of Background Checks
As a parent, you must take it upon yourself to do some homework and find out a few things about the daycare center. First, are they licensed and is the license current?
It is reported that only 13 states require comprehensive background checks for staff in child care centers and only 11 states require them for individuals who have home childcare businesses. Do not hesitate to check with the government licensing agency of daycare centers to find out whether any irregularities exist. Another good idea to just be blunt and ask the daycare center management what their protocol is in reporting abuse against a child.
5. Illness Transmission
As Care.com points out, daycare centers can be germ factories. They advise that providers should have proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting policies and practices in place to prevent the transmission of illness. Two things parents can do to greatly enhance their child's well being is to keep their child's immunizations up-to-date and simply keep their child at home when they're sick.
These pieces of advice and many more can be found on their website. But this gives a good platform to start your journey toward bettering the daycare experience for you and your children.
The Care.com community is an online advice-sharing network for parents and caregivers. Once you sign in, you are able to a) ask questions of parents or caregivers and b) share your experiences with others.