Choosing a childcare center will be one of the most important decisions you will make for your child. Getting it right will go along way in helping your child develop to their full potential. I'd like to offer some advice on the decision making process to make it easier for you.
You should take a detailed tour of at least 3 childcare centers before enrolling your child. Look around for cleanliness, no foul smells, posted lesson plans and schedules and if they serve food, a menu. Look at the children and how they interact with the teachers and are the teachers smiling. Miserable looking teachers is a sign of a poorly managed center and maybe a too-tough director. Ask about their curriculum and what outcomes are expected. Is Play an important aspect of the curriculum. (It should be).
Is the class room set up to help children access the activities. For example: are the shelves and tables and chairs low enough for the age group. Do you feel comfortable enough to leave your child in their care while you are gone. Gut feeling goes along way in deciding your choice of Childcare Center.
The National Association Of Young Children (NAEYC) suggest these 10 signs are a good indication of a great preschool.
1. Children spend most of their time playing and working with materials or other children.
2. Children have access to various activities during the day. Look for building blocks, props for dramatic play, picture books, Art material and table toys such as puzzles and peg boards.
3. Teachers work with individual children as well as small groups.
4. Classroom is decorated with the children original artwork and writing (however scrawly it is).
5. Children are learning alphabet and numbers in context with their daily life and the natural world
6. Children work on projects and are allowed longer periods of time to explore and play.
7. Children have outdoor play
8. Teachers read to children in small groups and individually
9. The Curriculum is adapted to help children who are either well ahead or maybe falling a little behind.
10. Children and and yourself look forward to school.
Lake Mary Childcare is a great preschool.