When choosing a daycare center for your child, one of the main considerations is the classroom in which he or she will spend most of the day. Although each center may require different arrangements, some arrangements are better than others. Below is a list of criteria that are met in quality daycare centers:
- The room is big enough. The actual footage varies from state to state and is usually expressed by “square feet per child.” The more children there are in the room, the larger it should be.
- There is plenty of open space. This is especially true in the rooms for older children, although even the infant room should have enough open space for crawling practice. All children need room, your preschooler especially, to run and play without restrictions.
- The room is set up with “centers.” A center is essentially a play station, age appropriate for your child. There may be music centers, cutting centers, dress-up centers and so forth. Children are free to go from center to center as the mood strikes them.
- There is a sink with hot running water so that the daycare teachers, as well as their charges, cans wash their hands often. This hand washing goes a long way toward preventing the spread of diseases.
- There are plenty of places to “chill” if a child chooses to be by herself. This includes corners with beanbag chairs, small chairs strewn throughout the room and comfortable carpets.
- There are age-appropriate books in a “reading” center. If the children are still in the chewing stage, these books may be made of cloth or plastic.
- There is a water and/or sand table. Many facilities use one such table interchangeably, filling the trough one day with water and the next day with sand.
- Infants are provided with toys that can be manipulated while lying down. In addition, there be may a mobile above the changing table
Every room is different, of course, but these features have proven to be important to your child’s development and should be considered while you are choosing a daycare.