Daycare Shopping: What Defines Good

When you are looking for a daycare to take your son or daughter to, it can be a very difficult decision. It’s even more difficult when you are looking for a good facility for your infant or toddler. After all, a daycare center is hardly a substitute for your tender loving care. But needs must and for some of us, daycare becomes an option we have to explore.

So, when you are start looking for a daycare center, you want to talk to more than the staff – you want to talk to other parents. You want to talk to moms and dads with a baby or toddler in your child’s age range. You also want to talk to people who share similar beliefs and methodologies about being a parent. That being said, here is the information you want to hear in order to decide if it’s a good daycare for your angel.


They say reputation is everything and while you do want the daycare to have a good professional reputation, you also want the daycare to have good personal references. You want the other parents to be happy with their relationship with the center and to be immensely satisfied with how their infants are taken care of. If you talk to a parent with doubts, be assured – you are likely to have doubts too.

The Staff

You should get a great vibe from the staff. You should see enthusiasm and love in how they interact with the children. You want to see real interest on their part and not just people sitting around as placeholders. You should feel more than comfortable with their philosophies with their feeding, sleeping and discipline policies. You want to know that the staff is submitted to a thorough background check, have degrees in early childhood development and experience with CPR and medical training for taking care of their charges.

For the classes that play host to the small children, specifically toddlers, you want a maximum ratio of one teacher to every three children in the class. This way you know your toddler doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s hard enough to keep track of a busy toddler, when you have a classroom full of them and inadequate attention – a toddler that’s inadequately supervised is more likely to get into trouble.

The Condition of the Facility

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning here. You want to know that the staff takes good care of the facility and makes sure that it is clean from the floors to the walls to the bathroom, changing stations and of course, the kitchen where the food is prepared. When you are touring the facility, be sure to ask about the kitchen. Try to time your tour to coincide when breakfast or lunch is being prepared – so you can see how they are handling the food and the food preparation area.


Go that extra step and verify that the daycare’s state licensing and reviews are up to date. You want to know that the established rules and policies and posted licensing information is genuine. Remember, most daycares are submitted to rigorous inspections – you want an open door policy that means parents and government inspectors can walk in at any time unannounced.

While these are not 100% full proof methods for judging a daycare, they can increase your comfort and confidence levels in the people you will be trusting your child to. Have you had to put your infant or toddler into a daycare?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.