Questions to Ask When Touring a Daycare

Ava is our first child so when it came to finding a daycare I didn’t really have a clue about what to look for or questions to ask. Heck, I didn’t even start looking for a daycare until 3 weeks after she was born (bad idea).

We knew from the time we conceived that she was going to have to go to daycare. I don’t know why I waited until the last minute to find one. I guess I didn’t realize that daycares had waiting lists and that finding a decent daycare in our area would be difficult. Luckily, I found a place that didn’t have a waiting list and we were able to get her in. Looking back now, I get why they didn’t have a waiting list.

As a new mom this daycare seemed great. They were nice people, who wouldn’t charge me for summer break and would still hold her spot (that’s hard to find as a teacher), they had a crib, some toys, and they had space. What could go wrong?

After 3 months of maternity leave I returned to work in December and Ava began going to daycare. Things started off good and then slowly went downhill within a month or so. I made sure to communicate with her teachers and the director about my concerns. When Ava was around 6 months old the final straw broke and I went to work in tears feeling like I failed as a mother. As I went to pick Ava up everyday I noticed she was ALWAYS in a bouncer or a jumper. I decided to ask the teacher how much tummy time and floor time she received daily and the teacher replied, “Well not as much as I’d like for them to but at least twice a week.” EXCUSE ME?? TWICE A WEEK? Her response shocked me. How was my baby going to learn how to crawl if she never got to be on the floor?  I simply replied, “OK” and left. The next day I went to the director in tears. She addressed the issue and they made more floor space for the babies to have more room for tummy time.

I was so disappointed in myself that I didn’t do a better job at finding a good daycare for her. Why didn’t I do my research. Why didn’t I plan this months in advanced? I went to work feeling sick. Thankfully, within just a few days a daycare that we were on the waiting list for (that I completely forgot about) called to tell us they had an open spot and asked if we would like it. I immediately said YES and Ava started there the following week. Thankfully she wasn’t in her old daycare for too long. We love her current daycare and are so blessed for answered prayers!

The truth of the matter is you can only do so much. Even after researching and asking all the questions you can, and finding a good daycare there is always a chance for something to happen that you don’t agree with or you aren’t happy about. I have learned as a daycare mother it is important to communicate with the teachers and the directors your expectations, concerns, and any questions you may have. Unfortunately, daycares tend to have a high turnover rate. So the more open you are the better it is for everyone.

I am writing this blog post to share our journey and to help other mothers that might be experiencing the same thing or thinking about putting their child in daycare. Below I have included some things to look for and questions to ask, besides the obvious questions like the cost, hours, dates they are closed, etc. Hopefully you might find this helpful.

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Things We Didn’t Like About Her OLD Daycare

  • They had a T.V. in the room that they used often to occupy the children.
  • It seemed like she was always in a jumper or a bouncer.
  • The room was really small and they didn’t have much space.
  • They automatically moved them to the toddler room when they turned one even if they weren’t walking yet.
  • Babies were constantly in jumpers and received very little floor time.
  • Sanitation issues.

Things We LOVE About Our NEW Daycare

  • The rooms are bright and colorful.
  • They have a small teacher turnover.
  • They complete a lot of crafts and learning activities daily.
  • They have scensory play and work on building her fine motor skills.
  • They send home a daily report that tells us what Ava ate, her diaper changes, things she did in class, and how long she napped for, and anything she might need for class.
  • There is NO TV in the room.
  • They have a security procedure for dropping off and picking up children.
  • They have a consistent daily routine.
  • They have a playground.
  • The staff is very friendly and welcoming.
  • It’s a Christian Academy.

Look Fors and Questions

  • Is there a TV in the room? Not having a TV is a plus. If there is a TV ask them how often do they use it and what do they use it for.
  • Is the room colorful with stimulating material?
  • Is there a lot of space?
  • Ask for their daily schedule. You want to make sure they have learning activities, crafts, story time, naps, etc. You’re looking for things that will help your child grow and develop. Note: Depending on your child’s age
  • Ask about their discipline policy. How do they handle a child biting?

What are your look fors in a daycare? What’s a question you make sure to ask before deciding if it’s the right daycare for your child?
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