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Working care?

bunkie wrote: Can the working mommies that use day care help me out here?
I am going to go back to work next month but I have to find day care. My first choice is to go to the military daycare on post but if we can't get in there I'll have to go civilian.

Can anyone give me tips in finding a good daycare? What should I look for, what should I ask? What should be a big red flag?

moped replied: ask for references

luvbug00 replied: CPR cert. and knloage of any medical needs your child has

gr33n3y3z replied:
that is a big one and call them to check smile.gif

bunkie replied: Good ones so far ladies. I also planned on putting all their employees names into the sex offender registry to see if anyone was convicted of anything, I know its against the law for them to work at one but you never know who might be shiesty and not enforce rules.

Kaitlin'smom replied: here is a list I used

is the center convient to home or work?
hours of operation?
ask about the general policies (vacations, illness, holidays, ect)
do they have a website to learn more?
do they have a parent intranet site?
what are the weekly or month tuition fees?

I have tons more if you want them about programs, faciltiy, personnel, and resources

moped replied:
ahhh good one!!!!!

bunkie replied:
Yes I would appreciate anything and everything you can give me. Its the first time my kids will be in daycare because I wanted to stay home for their first years. So I need all the help I can get! blink.gif

luvbug00 replied:

sex offender registry

mummy2girls replied: ~ dont call for an app to see a daycare just drop in. Because if you make an app they will get everyione ready and organized so its fake really but if you just drop in without notice they are not expecting you so you can really see what they are like and how organized.

~ ask about rates, what si included in teh rates, ask to see a sample of thier menus, and ask to see what activities and crafts they do. ask thier routines. Ask to see the backyard/ play area and see how secure it is. ask about the providers and how certified they are, see thier first aids and levels of training. I know not all needs to have first aid but at least a few has to no matter what! ask where they sleep and see where they do, see what ratios of adults to kids there are.

~ when you find a place do drop in visits and unexpected early pickups..

bunkie replied:
those are awesome tips, thanks so much!! I will most def just drop by and check a place out.

mummy2girls replied:
I have tons of other tips. my dd was in daycare for 4 years since she was 4 months and she was in pretty crappy ones so i know the warning signs. One actually got the liscense pulled and shut down. And i own a dayhome...

bunkie replied:
Thats scary but good that you prevented future issues for other families! Thanks for all your help, I will remember to message you when I have more specific questions. I really hope we can get on post since I know exactly what is and isn't allowed at those daycare centers. I was going to work at one and you have to pretty much have the background of a saint to get in there. They handed me like a 50 pound application lol.

Boo&BugsMom replied: I know Shelly said to just drop in, but I do not/did not take drop ins. Why? THIS IS JUST FOR PROVIDERS, NOT "centers" though...because it is out of respect to not interuppt the provider while she is working and focusing on the children, IMO. I may be in the middle of something with the kids, then bam...a doorbell...not cool with me. I would politely tell them to call and make an appointment. I ran a preschool program and I couldn't have random people...who I did not know from Adam, coming in my home. It's also out of protection of the little ones in my care. I scheduled interviews in the evening when my husband was home, for security purposes, so I would be weary of someone who would just take a drop-in appointment if I were an established client. Anyone can just say they are looking for care and come in the home. JMO though. Everyone does something different, just do not be alarmed if they ask you to come back for a scheduled interview. Now, if it was a large center...then by all means, drop in. If the director is not busy she should be more than happy to show you around and do an interview with you. I always did, and welcomed it, we a past childcare director. I had form folders set up in case of people needing interviews who didn't have appointments. I was prepared on my end as a director for drop ins. The teachers shouldn't care about that, as long as they are doing their job. wink.gif

I would ask about...
*curriculum (it is important to me, that a center is not just a "babysitting" service)
*what you provide, versus what the center provides
*meals (most centers do not allow outside food if on a food program, FYI, unless there are allergies)
*hours of operation
*ask to look at the policy manual (mine was 30 pages long)
*how they handle emergency situations
*days closed, and if it's a provider what days is she closed and what vacation days does she take
*staff education and experience, are they equipped with the state standards
*how they handle discipline (this is HUGE)
*how they communicate regularly (daily sheets, newsletters, notebooks, etc.)
*how can you as the parent get they have a parent advisory board?
*if it's a group center...what is the director like? do the staff seem to like her/him? a good director will make or break the center!!!

That is what I can think of off the top of my head.

mummy2girls replied:
thats what i meant centres. not dayhomes ohmy.gif ohmy.gif And i believe in drop ins with centres.. why because they dont expect it and thats the best way to see how they work once you drop in then schedule a better time for an appointment. dayhomes its diff obviously! blink.gif

bunkie replied: I wont be putting my children in a day home in this town. See too much crap on the news..bad bad bad stuff.

Boo&BugsMom replied:
I totally agree Shelly. It's too easy for them to prepare themselves and look perfect. That's why our state licensors come unannounced as well.

MyBrownEyedBoy replied: Ask about their policy regarding drop-in visits from parents. Some will allow them at any time, others like mine try to keep parents from visiting during nap times.

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