How to Find a Quality Daycare That Provides Quality Child Care

Feb 20, 2024 | Childcare

Have you opted to find a daycare to fulfill your family’s childcare needs?

It’s the logical (though often nerve wracking) option for many parents. And a great daycare can provide amazing opportunities for your child.

A quality daycare center can help your child develop crucial social skills and get a head start on early childhood academics.

But finding a high-quality daycare can be a monumental task. It will require time, patience, and perseverance.

There are certain attributes you can and should look for when assessing a daycare’s quality.

In the following sections, we’ll review these characteristics and help you navigate the process of finding a Gold Standard quality daycare for your child.

Characteristics of a Quality Child Care Center

When you start the process of evaluating daycare centers, you should be well-prepared with questions to ask and conditions to observe.

Your evaluation of each daycare center should cover four categories:

  • The business
  • The employees
  • The program
  • The building

We’ll review each of these categories in turn, and provide several qualities of a good daycare to take into consideration when determining if a center you’re touring meets the standard of a “quality daycare.”

The Business

Daycares typically pride themselves on the care they provide for your child—a warm, friendly, inviting space with a focus on education and developing kindness and generosity in tiny humans.

But, at the end of the day, they are businesses.

And to provide quality care, a daycare must operate like a well-oiled machine.

A quality daycare:

  • Has been in business for a while.
  • Has solid, up-to-date credentials and licenses.
  • Should have references a parent can contact.
  • Will outline clear rules and regulations.

A quality daycare will also have firm policies on:

  • Operating hours.
  • Pickup and drop-off times.
  • When a child is too sick to attend.

The Employees

Quality daycare employees can make or break a daycare center. Finding—and retaining—providers can be extremely difficult.

You should make it a top priority to find a quality child care environment that recruits and supports engaged and committed providers.

High-quality child care providers should be:

  • Educated with at least two years of college with a background in early childhood development (although not required by many states).
  • Trained in CPR and other emergency situations.
  • Responsible
  • Enthusiastic
  • Well-prepared

Providers will ideally share your philosophies on key childrearing issues like:

Additionally, a center that provides their staff with good employee benefits is likely to have less teacher turnover, which means consistent care for your child.

Fun Curriculum

The Program (Curriculum)

Educational programs may look very different from one daycare to the next.

And that’s okay.

The important thing is to find a center that uses a curriculum that aligns with your expectations.

At a minimum, quality daycares should:

  • Operate with small groups of children and plenty of staff so that your child can receive the individualized attention they deserve.
  • Have a well-thought-out curriculum with a variety of activities.
  • Utilize a program that varies regularly so children don’t become bored and are always presented with the chance to learn new skills.
  • Agree that TV and videos should play little to no part in the day’s schedule.

The Building

The quality of the building may be one of the first things you notice when touring a daycare center.

But, don’t let the age of a building deter you. The longer a daycare center has been operating, the more likely they are to have a solid business foundation and long-term employees.

A good daycare center:

  • Is clean and sanitary.
  • Observes basic safety rules.
    If you see poorly maintained equipment or the center seems dingy and cramped, be concerned.
  • Will have a kitchen to provide nutritious meals and snacks.
    Make sure the center covers all food groups.
  • Provides clean, safe areas for sleeping
    Bedding should be fresh and firm (to reduce the risk of SIDS for babies)
    Nap areas should be clean and quiet.
Daycare Facility

Finding a Quality Daycare Center Takes Time

As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, finding a quality daycare may be challenging.

Do not wait until the last minute to start your search.

Start looking for a good daycare center before you need one.

Remember that many other parents are also searching for the best daycare. And chances are the daycare you think is great, will also be high on the wishlists of other parents.

Parents who wait too long often discover that the center they think is best is already too full to admit their child.

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Tammy Gold is a licensed therapist, certified parent coach, published author, and founder of the Therapeutic Parenting Method. She is an ivy league-educated proud mom of 3 living in California.

If you’re seeking guidance on your parenting journey or finding the right childcare, we can help!

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