Choosing a daycare facility for your child is an important decision, so you want to make sure you know what to do. Before you enroll your child in any child care or day care center, you should make sure you know the reputation of the person or facility. There are essential steps a parent should follow before making a final decision.
Research is Essential
Before you place your child in any daycare whether it’s a home day care or center, you need to find out if that facility has a record of abusing or neglecting the children in its care. Parents can obtain this information through the state’s licensing agency, but to make it easy, those in Texas can go to this website: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/Search_Texas_Child_Care/ and out of state can use http://www.daycare.com/states.html to find the resources they need. There are specific regulations which day care facilities must follow, and those regulations are put into place by the licensing bureaus of each individual state. For this reason it is essential you verify the information with the agency in the state where the day care is located.
Be Aware of False Reports
One thing parents need to remember when they are searching the reputation of any day care facility is not all complaints are valid. Sometimes a parent will file a false complaint in a retaliatory fashion or because something happened that was not really problematic in the eyes of anyone but a parent: for instance, another child lashed out during play. Usually the day care worker handles those situations by placing the offenders in a “time out.”
Even though not all complaints are valid, parents do need to be aware and be suspicious of providers who have a pattern of similar complaints. An isolated incident or two is probably not much to worry about unless they are recent, but when a provider has a pattern of complaints that spans a period of time, the parents may want to exercise caution before placing their children in the care of that facility.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find out how a daycare facility operates and treats the children. The easiest way to do this is visit the facility at a time when other parents are picking up their children, and ask them questions. If you know others who have used that facility in the past, ask them if they would recommend it. While you could ask the day care provider for references, you stand the obvious risk of receiving biased information.
The bottom line is not to put your children with a new day care without conducting your research first. Make sure you feel comfortable with the way it operates, and you feel your child will be happy there while you are away.