Childcare centers are fantastic resources for parents who are looking for a safe environment for their child to stay in. Not only will your child be in a secure place but they will have an absolute blast playing with others their age. Here are three tips to bear in mind when enrolling your little one in a childcare center and how to best prepare them for that first day!
Take a Tour
When you are looking for the right childcare center for your child, be sure to ask for tours of each facility. Use this opportunity to inspect the overall cleanliness of the facility to determine how comfortable you feel with your child being there. Safety protocols such as gated access and cameras are always crucial to ask staff about and be sure to fully understand the processes set in place to allow others to enter the establishment. When doing a tour, you might be able to see how current children interact with each other and get a better idea of the staff-to-child ratio. Talk with staff to get a feel of their personalities and never be afraid to ask about prior experience. A tour is an ideal time to get all of your questions and concerns out of the way!
Gather Your Paperwork
Before you're able to officially enroll your child in a program, you'll need to complete various paperwork along the way. Preparing important documents ahead of time will save you a huge headache later down the road, so it's best to get this done as soon as possible! Make extra copies of documents including your child's birth certificate, your driver's license, and extra copies of up-to-date vaccination records. Additionally, you may need to provide a voided check from your banking institution for centers that do automatic withdrawals. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't worry! Prior to the enrollment process, the childcare center will let you know exactly what documents you need to provide.
Talk It Up
If this is your child's first time in a childcare center, you may wonder how they will adjust without you there. While this is a common worry for parents, you can rest assured that your child will have a wonderful time in childcare and will see it as a fun experience. Prepare your child for their first day by discussing how the process will work in terms they understand. Perhaps explain how you'll drop them off and they can then play with their friends. Assure them that you'll return later to pick them up. A fun way to do this is to role-play the part! Leave the room and wave goodbye and then return with a big hug and smile. For younger children who cannot yet converse fully, this is an excellent way for them to become more excited about their childcare center days.
Reach out to a center like ABQ Childcare to learn more.