When the mother wants to return to work, a good child daycare is a necessity. Being a primary caregiver, mothers look for crèche which becomes important for them. Here start the child daycare dilemmas.
The very first question is to daycare or not to daycare. And then, which one and how? Will it match our parenting styles? Even after school hours, child daycare is required. There are so many aspects to consider before you pick the right child daycare and decide to send your child.
Child Daycare aspects which need to be considered by parents:
Nursing time is a key consideration to start daycare. When a child is over a year who can have food and water can be sent to a child daycare. Professionals recommend a child to be at least 12-13 months when milk is not the primary source of nutrition.
They can breastfeed when the mother is at home in case daycare does not have the option to store and feed expressed milk.
Dr. Hemanti Mangal, Delhi based child psychologist and therapist suggest that a child under two years should stay at home with the primary caregivers. It is beneficial in terms of development also.
Safety, Health, and Hygiene
The two most important things that need to be checked in child daycare are the sources of milk and water. If you are not sure about the source, prefer to send milk from home.
To check the poor hygiene, first, check the refrigerator and serving area. These are the areas that reflect hygiene.
Observe staff – how do they serve or change children and their personal grooming. The cleanliness of the kitchen and bathroom needs to be checked.
Some child daycare relies completely on hand sanitizers which is not a good practice. Washing hands is a basic hygiene precaution for both children and caregivers.
Be careful about babyproofing such as electrical sockets out of reach, barriers to stairs and sharp edges, etc.
For physical and sensory development and immunity, there must be adequate time for outdoor play. Outdoor play times are often avoided for fear of children getting dirty. In fact, normal germs in air and soil exposure support immunity.
Those parents who do not allow children to crawl on the floor are actually increasing the risk of illness and allergies.
A child daycare should have separate rooms for babies so that they can sleep undisturbed. Toddlers should play freely in the other room.
Babies of 4 to 6 months age need 14 hours of sleep per day, so they need 2 to 3 naps. On the other hand, toddlers of 2 years just need 1 nap of an hour or two.
If a toddler naps for 3 hours, it will be difficult to put them to bed at night. If a child is cranky after coming back home, you need to check if he has slept enough or not.
Bedding should be washed daily and a separate crib should be allotted for each child. Parents can provide their own sheets for the sake of sleep hygiene and comfort both.
At child daycare, babies often sleep by simply patting or rocking. So, moms, you need not to worry! Gradually supportive caregivers find their own equation with your baby to make them sleep without weaning.
It is very important for a caregiver to be loving and supporting. She should be respectful of the autonomy and individuality of a child and should be sensitive to a child’s fears and anxieties.
To have space is a must for a growing child for his development. Caregivers should focus on a child’s routine and preferences.
The child should not hear ‘no’ very often, it prevents creativity. They should have freedom of choice ensuring the safety around them. The language of shaming and corporal punishment should be strict no.
Children feel secure in crèche when parents visit often. It is advised to have a child daycare near your workplace so that you can visit easily and build a good relationship with caregivers.
Children should not be forced to eat using punishment, bribes or distractions. They should be encouraged to eat on their own. A child eats better with other children so the crèche should have a positive social environment.
All children take time to adjust and so the caregivers. So, you need to give time to both to develop a good and positive relationship.
Have more tips to add to choose the right child daycare? Please share your experience with us in the comments section.
Also Read: Daycare Checklist | How to prepare your child for daycare?
Wish you a very Happy Parenting!