Daycare 101 :: Choosing The Right Daycare

Houston Moms Blog is thankful to partner with Baumgartner Law Firm to provide helpful information through this sponsored post. We hope it provides valuable info for your family too!

Leaving your child in the care of someone else is not easy. Besides being hard on your heart, it can also be tough to find a daycare that is right for your family and your budget. So whether you are looking for a new daycare … or you simply want to ensure the daycare you are using is still the best choice, there are a few things to consider.  And of course, child safety is number one.

“Your child’s health and safety will depend on your childcare selection,” said Attorney Greg Baumgartner. “Even though a childcare facility may be affordable, friendly, or visually appealing, if it is unregulated there is no inspection, training, or no enforcement ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your child!”

Local attorney Greg Baumgartner has made it his mission to make sure kids in daycare are safe, and he says research is key.  Here are a few key aspects to look for…

Do Your Homework 

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services offers many different listings for child care centers. Here you can search violations and complaints, suspensions, and other details on each licensed child care center in the state. Home daycare centers are also listed, but it’s important to know these are not registered or licensed through the state. Daycare centers that are regulated by the state operate with a great deal of oversight.

“That means if the childcare facility does not meet the minimum standards, they could potentially have their licenses revoked or face additional repercussions from the state,” said Baumgartner. “This helps parents ensure their child is placed in a warm and secure environment.”

Ask About Qualifications 

The daycare teacher will probably be around your child more than anyone else during the week, so it’s important to ask about the qualifications for the staff at the daycare. For example, are childcare providers required to only have an associate degree, or does the daycare recommend a bachelor’s in a child-related field? Has the daycare done a background check on all teachers? Additional qualifications include CPR license or experience working with special needs students.

Also ask about the staff-to-child ratio. For example, in the state of Texas the law says the ratio must be one teacher for every four kids under the age of 11 months. For two-year-olds, the ratio is 1:11. Guidelines for other ratios and ages are spelled out here.

Are They Prepared?  

You hate to think about anything bad happening, but it’s important that the child care center is prepared in case something terrible happens. Ask how they handle emergencies. Although it’s very uncommon, you can never be too safe. Situations might include a possible intruder, fire, tornado, or other emergency. 

For safety, the daycare should also have some type of security system when entering the building. In other words, you shouldn’t be able to walk right in. 

Plan a Visit {And Don’t Plan One Too} 

Of course, you will visit the daycare facility before making your decision. But you may also just want to stop by unannounced to see how things are going when they don’t realize you are coming. If your child is already enrolled in a daycare, drop in during the day to check on how things are going.

Things to look for when visiting :: Pay close attention to the cleanliness of the floors and restrooms. Are hand washing stations easy for the child to access? Does it “feel” clean? What items are available for play in the room? Does it feel welcoming?

Trust Your Gut 

You may have done your homework, asked about qualifications and policies, and made several visits to a certain daycare center, but there may just be something that doesn’t seem right for you. Maybe it’s just that you feel like your child won’t like it.

“Who knows your child better than you do?” said Baumgartner. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, inquire from other parents, and above all else – trust your gut! You know what’s best for your child, and if something feels amiss – it probably is!”

Additional questions to ask your daycare provider…

  • How do you handle discipline?
  • How do you communicate with parents? {Daily notes, folders, etc.}
  • How do you handle food and food safety?
  • How much outside play time do the kids get each day?
  • If my child doesn’t nap, what will they do during nap time?
  • How do you rotate toys?

Baumgartner Law Firm is a personal injury law firm based in Houston for over 30 years. They are committed to giving back to our community and are passionate about protecting your family and children. Connect with them here ::

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy
Houston, TX 77069

281.587.1111

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One Response to Daycare 101 :: Choosing The Right Daycare

  1. Burt Silver February 1, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    I like that you mentioned to make sure you find a daycare that is prepared in case of emergency. It isn’t something you want to think about, but I want to make sure my child will be okay if something bad happens while he is there. My wife and I have been searching for a daycare that works for us and our son. We want him to have the best care possible. We will keep these tips in mind!

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