Tips On Choosing a Daycare Center in Brooklyn

By   /  October 3, 2010  /  No Comments

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Introduction

Day care centers in New York are just what the majority of city residents look for: nothing too fancy, but reliable and affordable as compared to other kinds of care such as nannies. Some accept babies at the age of 6 weeks, and many allow kids to stay until they go to kindergarten. Daycare centers have many advantages: you won’t have to negotiate fee (as you would with a nanny), it won’t quit on you, and care is available when you need it. For these reasons and more, when considering the option between a nanny and a day care center, New York residents are more likely to choose the latter. In fact, about 30 percent of kids under the age of 5 with working mothers attend day care, NY Children’s Defense Fund states.

What do the experts say?

Being the most institutional form of childcare, daycare centers are an easy target, but this quality can work in their favor, too: they are regulated, offer a structured setting, and care is well-supervised. Experts evaluate quality by looking at the group size, caregiver-to-child ratios, classroom space, equipment and the way caregivers interact with children.
When choosing a daycare center be ready to ask a lot of questions and be observant. We recommend to start your search about half a year before you will actually need childcare (the best day care centers in Brooklyn tend to fill up fast, other boroughs aren’t an exception).

What to look for when choosing a daycare in NY?

Goodwill

A proper day care center has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and provides nurturing environment for children. Don’t hesitate to ask a day care provider for names of current customers and contact them for references, or just stop by and talk to some other parents in person during the pickup time.

A well-thought-out curriculum

The best day care centers New York has to offer have well-structured schedules that provide for individual activities, group programs, enough time both for physical activities and for quiet time, snacks, meals and free time. Videos and TV should play little to no part in kids’ daily activities; if videos are included in the curriculum, make sure they are appropriate for your child’s age and preferably educational: i.e. teaching about other cultures, animals, etc. A well-devised curriculum not only brings more fun to daily life, but also stimulates your child’s development.
Look for a center with a wide range of age-appropriate toys and early educational material that will encourage your children’s development and, as they get older, stimulate imaginative, creative play.

Established rules

Consider the flexibility of a day care center. New York dictates an uneven tempo of life, hence it’s important to choose a flexible center — you should be given an option of picking up and dropping off your kid at convenient times, for example — but there should also be strictly established rules for everything from handling emergencies to operating hours. This is a good indicator that the daycare provider takes seriously its responsibility for your kid.

Pay attention to the sick-child policy adopted by a center. Find out in advance in case of which illnesses you’ll be required to keep your kid at home. This is a two-way lane: on the one hand, an overtough policy may bring upon certain inconvenience if your kid is prone to illnesses, on the other hand — it makes sense to keep sick staff and children away from the daycare. Really good daycare centers help reduce the risk of illness by requiring all employees and children to have regular checkups and immunizations.

Clean, safe facilities

A good preschool center is sanitary and clean. Walls, walks, floors and the kitchen area should always be clean, toilets and diaper changing stations should be far from food preparation areas, and the facility should be adequately ventilated, lit and heated. Personnel should wash their hands regularly, especially after every diaper change. Plenty of space is also an important factor to look for.

There are many daycare centers in NYC, but not all of them follow even the basic rules of safety. Check that all drugs and other potentially dangerous substances are out of the kids’ reach, the outdoor play area is secure and level, bedding is firm and fresh. Heaters and radiators should be covered or otherwise protected, smoke detectors should be in place and working, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit should be close at hand, and all standard childproofing techniques should be used (door latches, safety gates, covered outlets, etc.).

Look for a facility with a spacious outdoor play area. It’s a must that children should have an everyday opportunity to play outside — jumping, running and skipping are good for them mentally, physically and socially.

A qualified, caring staff

The last, but not the least: a qualified and trained staff is just another advantage day care centers may have over nannies and home day care providers, who do not always have the necessary specialized education. Day care center staff should be educated, have experience in early childhood development, at least 2 years of college, CPR and other emergency training.

Note how the caregivers interact with the children. Employees should be enthusiastic, responsible and well trained. Look for a daycare that shares your principles on feeding, discipline, sleep and other care issues.

What’s the bottom line?

When choosing a daycare center in New York City, expect to invest a lot of time in looking for a center that meets your needs. Pay close attention to teacher-to-child ratios, staff morale and expertise, as well as safety…

…Or save your time and efforts and check out our Bambi Daycare Center to make sure we deliver a quality and affordable form of childcare you can depend on!


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