While sending their child to daycare might be a practical decision for most parents, they also worry about whether their child will be happy and healthy in that space. There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that his health and happiness levels stay high. Read on to find out more.
Separating from your child can be difficult, very difficult in fact. However, for a majority of working parents, putting their child in a daycare is often the only option.
You may feel anxious about this decision, especially because it is perhaps the first time that your child will be spending extended periods of time outside of the home, under a stranger’s care.
When it comes to sending your child to daycare, you are likely to worry about whether he will be healthy, will his immunity hold up, will he continue to develop intellectually and will he be happy and well settled in the new environment.
Here are some ways in which you can help make this moment of transition easier for yourself and your child.
A. When selecting a daycare
#1 Put safety first
The safety and well-being of your child is usually the most fundamental concern. You need to make sure that the daycare centre you are evaluating has the right emergency protocols in place and is equipped to handle the safety needs of young children.
You can also ask additional questions such as: Do the children have to use stairs every day? Do the children have access to the kitchen? If someone other than you is collecting your child, what is the verification process?
Also, one of the key factors to evaluate is the student-caregiver/teacher ratio, as one of the most important safety measures is constant adult supervision. A smaller ratio means that each child, including yours will receive more focused and individualized care.
#2 Do the white glove test
With constant cases of hand-foot-mouth disease and flu, extremely high standards of cleanliness and hygiene are absolutely essential at a daycare centre. Before the age of two, your child’s immunity is extremely vulnerable and therefore it is extremely important that they be in as hygienic an environment as possible.
Always check if the staff is diligent about washing their own and the children’s hands and if they keep the eating, sleeping, playing areas as well as the diaper changing areas spotlessly clean.
Also watch out for musty smells, which could be indicative of poor ventilation.
#3 Ensure there is quality food and nutrition
The right kind of food and nutrition is absolutely essential in ensuring proper physical and intellectual development. Always request to see the menu plans for the week to assess their nutritional value. See if you can schedule a visit during mealtime so that you can observe the portion sizes served as well as the eating habits inculcated at the centre.