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Helpful Tips to Pick A Daycare Center

The first thing you need to do when going to a daycare center to determine if it’s one you want to send your child to is ask them if they have any openings. This should be the very first question you ask. If their answer is no and you need daycare in the near future then they most likely will not be able to meet your needs. If, however, you really want this center then find out when they expect to have an opening and make plans.

The next thing you have to find out is where the center is located and how the traffic is in early morning or rush hour evening hours. If traffic is really bad you know that you’re going to have to leave yourself extra time to get your child to the center and extra time for pickup, especially if the center closes at a certain hour.

The next thing you have to find out is what their hours of operation are. If the center has hours from 9 to 6 and you have to be at work at 8 AM then you are going to have a bit of a problem unless you can arrange to have someone else bring your child to the center. Most centers however do have hours long before normal work hours begin and long after normal work hours end. Just make sure you find out exactly what the hours are.

The next thing that’s important to know is if there are any special holidays or dates when the center is closed. Not all businesses celebrate all holidays. For example, many businesses may be open on Martin Luther King’s birthday. If yours is one of them and the center is closed for that day you are going to have to make plans for someone to either stay with your child or if possible bring your child to another center for a day or if worst comes to worst, bring your child to work. Make sure you know this well in advance.

Of course you are going to have to find out what the center charges and if there are any special supplies you will have to bring. Some centers provide diapers and food but many do not. So find this out in advance. Also, find out how payment needs to be made and when. Some centers require payment in advance and other allow you to pay at the end of each period, whether it be weekly or monthly.

It may not be a bad idea to find out the ages of the other children. If they are all older than your child you may not want to take your child to that center as there could be a greater danger of problems.

Find out if the center offers some kind of flex time in case you have a strange schedule. Some centers actually have a day shift and a night shift. Find this out if your needs require odd hours.

This may not seem important but find out what their turnover rate is. A high turnover rate may indicate a poorly run center.

Find out if there are backups to the main provider should he or she become ill. The last thing you want to find out is that you can’t bring your child one day because there is only one caregiver and they are out sick.

Finally, find out if the center is certified. While this doesn’t always mean the center is great, you’ll have a better chance of getting a good center if it is certified.