Mothers are such a blessing! When I went back to work after my eldest was born, I was lucky enough to find a perfect caretaker for my son in the form of my own mother! Still I would phone her a couple of times during the day to know; if he has taken his feed? Is he feeling fine? What is he doing now? And so on. And I think she cared for him in a much better way than me.
But it’s not the same for everyone. Sometimes your mother or mother-in-law is stationed in another city or country or else is not in the perfect of her health to take care of a little one. In such instances a Back-to-Work-Mom will be looking for a good daycare for her baby. Good means the one which takes care of her little one to her utmost satisfaction. When opting for a good day care one must look for a place which is recommended by family and friends and has a good rating in general.
You can yourself make a detailed research on daycares in the city and give them weightage according to your own priorities. Here are a few guidelines and steps to help you identify some features to look for in a good day care.
Seeing Is Believing
Visit the daycares you have shortlisted for your baby. Visit them alone without your baby. Have a good look around and observe how the attendants at the working at the day care. Are they with the kids and playing with them? Or the kids are left on their own. Do they have a polite way of talking to the children present there? Do the kids there seem happy and enjoying their surroundings or they are edgy and crying. Spending a good hour at the place will tell you a lot about it. A day care where most kids are playing together, with least crying and yelling is a place one would prefer to send their kids to.
Find out complete details of how they manage their snack and meal times. Who feeds the babies who are on bottle feed? If there are more than one pair of hands to help with the bottle fed babies. Whether they have proper arrangements to keep the milk/eatables packed by you for the baby? Make sure they have proper arrangement for keeping the prepared milk in refrigerators and or controlled temperatures. Similarly perishable items should have proper storage facility.
Environment Should Be Accident-Proof
What kind of place houses the daycare? Is it in a safe area? Whether the grounds themselves are safe for the baby. Do they have proper baby safe barricades in the hall to keep the babies from entering areas which might pose some kind of hazard to them? If the floors are properly carpeted and vacuumed? Make sure there are no toys which can pose choking hazards to kids. If there is any stair case in sight in the area, it is kept well out of reach of the children by protective child friendly gates.
Make sure they have a good contingency plan in case of any emergency, god forbid, such as a fire.
Take a careful look at the staff responsible for cleaning and maintaining the place. They should be wearing clean clothes and have neatly done nails and hair. A clean and healthy staff will guarantee that your child is least exposed to imminent health hazards.
Make sure their kitchen and bathrooms are clean and in top condition. The utensils used for heating /preparing milk or meals are cleaned properly and stored away in a clean place or cupboard. Also make sure that for every diaper change the responsible staff uses proper ways of cleaning the child and follows all rules of hygiene.
This is very important. One must ensure that the child is not exposed to different dialects in the day care and since it will be his learning grounds for language for quite some time, therefore make sure that the caretaking staff has good language skills and dialect.
Cost & Timings
Compare the cost of sending your bay to different daycares with the quality of services provided by them. You do want a cost effective day care, but then you also cannot compromise on quality. You have to work out your own budget and priorities when selecting the right daycare.
Once you have satisfied yourself on all these points with a day care and start sending your precious one to it, do remember to pay surprise visit to the center to check if your baby is being treated with same care that you had expected of them.