From the desk of Shani Snell, Early Childhood Education Department Head at Community Care College.
Your children are your most valuable possession and choosing a high-quality daycare is so important for their safety, development and well-being. Whether you choose a child-care center or in-home care, there are some basic things you should look for during your search.
The Environment: Both indoor and outdoor. This is probably the easiest thing to do and any quality daycare center will realize that first impressions are very important.
- Is it well-kept, clean and safe?
- Do you see any items that may be safety hazards such as stairways, electrical outlets, open water, or items that need repairs?
- Are there check-in procedures for parents or visitors?
The Curriculum: A majority of centers in Oklahoma use “The Creative Curriculum” or “HighScope” curriculum but there are many other choices in ECE curriculum.
- What type of educational curriculum do they use or what teaching philosophy guides their teaching/activity choices?
- Ask what type of curriculum they use and then research that particular curriculum to see if this is the best fit for your child.
The Teachers: Do they look happy and excited to be there? This can tell you a lot. The best ECE teachers love what they do. Some centers will require HS diplomas or GEDs to be a classroom teacher whereas others may require a bachelor degree to be a lead teacher.
- Are they required to have a degree or certification to work at the center?
- Ask the center/owner what they require.
The Reviews: Go online and read the reviews for this center or simply ask friends and family to suggest daycare providers. Websites such as http://www.oklahomachildcare.org or http://www.okdhs.org/childcare are great places to start searching for daycare providers/centers and obtain more information on their licensing and case files. The following website provides many of the basic information for the larger providers as well as recent inspection report histories: http://childcarecenter.us/oklahoma/tulsa_ok_childcare.
Although there are many other things to consider when choosing a daycare, this list will help to begin your process and narrow down your choices. Choosing a daycare is no small decision and requires careful thought and research. Take a look at this detailed guide to help make your selection process easier.
At Community Care College we are proud to be educating Early Childcare Education professionals. If you or someone you know is interested in entering this field, take a look at our competitive program.