Choosing a daycare for your child is a major decision, one that requires proper research and careful thought. Here are six considerations for choosing a daycare, as well as useful information to assist your search.
Licensing & Certifications
All daycare centres require a provincial license to operate. However, some centres are accredited, meaning they meet accreditation standards of excellence beyond provincial licensing regulations. Tawa Montessori is accredited by the Government of Alberta and focuses on positive outcomes related to the children, staff, families and the community. We’re required to undergo a comprehensive self-evaluation of our services and policies, as well as a formal on-site assessment, in order to receive accreditation. Accreditation is a voluntary process, making accredited centres a notable step above others because they meet standards of excellence based on current research and leading practices. Searching for an accredited daycare for your child will ensure top quality care. Additionally, all childcare workers should be certified by the provincial government as one of the following: Childcare assistant Childcare worker Childcare development supervisor It’s important to enquire about the professional certifications of childcare staff.
A guidance policy details how staff members treat children both generally and in specific scenarios. For example, our guidance policy states that we do not give time-outs at Tawa Montessori. In our infant room, we distract children, give them another choice or redirect them because they don’t understand rules or behaviour at a young age. However, once children reach our preschool program, they’re given clear, simple instructions so they understand expectations, as well as the consequences of their actions. Ask potential daycare centres about their guidance policy to develop an understanding of how children are treated on a daily basis.
Safety is an extremely important consideration when choosing a daycare. You should: Ask how many staff are first aid certified Discuss emergency response procedures You should feel comfortable leaving your child at a centre each day knowing they’ll be safe and secure.
You’re paying for a service when selecting a daycare, so it’s important to understand what’s included in that service. For instance, some centres, such as Tawa Montessori, offer lunch and snacks so parents don’t have to pack food each day. Request a list of inclusions from potential daycares and consider whether all your family’s needs are being met.
When selecting the most appropriate daycare for your child, our best advice is to trust your instincts. How do you feel when you walk around the centre? How are the staff interacting with the children? Would you feel comfortable leaving your child? A lot of parents walk into Tawa Montessori and feel their child will be safe, loved and well taken care of. It’s important for you to experience the same feeling with whichever centre you choose.
A lot of parents are unaware of child to staff ratios required in daycare centres. The industry standards in Alberta are: Infants = 4:1 Toddlers = 6:1 Preschoolers = 8:1 Kindergarteners = 10:1 Out of School Care = 16:1 It’s not crucial to enquire about child to staff ratios, as all centres should follow them. However, being informed of these ratios will help you understand the degree of care your child will receive at each age. The younger the children, the more care and attention they’ll require.
After researching and reviewing your options, it’s time to select a daycare. Contact us today for a confidential discussion if you’d like more information to assist with your decision.
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