Day Care Centers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly - What You Need To Know.

Day Care Centers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly - What You Need To Know.


{TWO} Observation Rooms & Cameras are a Must
This is where things get a little tricky. I’m a huge advocate for being able to have access to seeing what my child is up to and what her teachers are doing anytime I want. Having said that – it means one of two things:


A.   Be prepared to accept that you are going to see things from time to time that you don’t like; you will see your child get picked on. You will see your child get reprimanded, and not always in a way that you like. You will see your child struggle with the oddities of being a toddler/preschooler. This can really just fucking suck.

B. Be aware that it can become highly addicting to have access to your child all the time. 


As a parent watching, it can be very hard sometimes to remember what your limits are BUT there are some positives to this as well. In being able to watch my child, I’ve been able to see what she’s lacking in where skills are concerned so that Michael and I can work with her at home. As I mentioned above, we’ve seen things happening in Chickie’s classroom that were completely unacceptable and needed to change. We would have never known about those things if we hadn’t had access to the room. It’s true that we can’t always have our eyes on our kids but when you know that you have access to them, it helps. 


{THREE} How are Obstacles, Accidents, and Issues Handled by the Leadership?
When you feel you have concerns about your child’s safety and well-being and voice said concerns, how is the information received by the director or teacher of the center? Is there a genuine response of concern or are you made to feel crazy for making your voice heard? Any center you decide to place your child in should always have an open door policy with the director. If your center’s director is never in her office, or even in the center for that matter, that’s a red flag. When issues are brought to their attention, are they quick to find resolutions and get back to you? A director who does not communicate or who is not willing to be transparent about their center, policies, and expectations is a no go in my book. Make sure you have an open line of communication with your center’s director and document, document, document!!! Keep a running list at home of every interaction you have in case you have to go over the director’s head. Having precise and accurate notes on everything that has happened will only make your case stronger when severe action needs to be taken.


When accidents happen are you made aware of them and are reports filed properly as they should be? If not, get the hell out of there. Centers are required by law to document any and every accident – even something as small as stubbing a toe and you should receive a copy of the accident report. Keep these at home in a file that you can refer back to if need be. 


{FOUR} Be “That Parent”
Let’s be real – day care centers are not cheap but more importantly than that, when you entrust your child’s care into the hands of a center, you expect nothing but the absolute best in care. I’ve struggled recently with feeling like I’m being that nagging parent and not wanting to be a bother about everything but at the end of the day, your child’s well-being is non-negotiable. 


Be “That parent.” Be the one to question anything and everything you feel isn’t right or need clarification on. Be the parent who is involved and not just the parent that the teachers only see when you drop off and pick up. The teachers know that when I walk into Chickie’s school, I mean business. It basically boils down to this: Don’t fuck around with my child and if you do, I’m going to ride your ass like Tonto. I will be all over you like white on rice and really, that’s what these teachers need. It’s a horrible way to say it but at the end of the day, they need to be reminded who’s really the boss. Be “That parent” and be involved. 


And last but certainly not least…


{FIVE} Is Your Child Happy?
When your child is stimulated, challenged, and in a good environment it shows, plain and simple. Does your child seem excited and eager to talk about their day when you pick them up or are they a crying mess ready to tear a B-line straight to the door? Do they seem excited and happy to talk about their friends at school or do they seem timid and reserved?

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