Occasionally, we hear scary stories on the news about abuse at day care facilities and other disturbing things about care provider. It’s quite a scary thing. But parents don’t have to go into it blindly.
Before you enroll your children in the local daycare center, there are a few issues common to other working parents that you may want to consider. Babysitter.net offers these following suggestions for your to take note of:
1. Exposure to Germs and Illness – Even in the cleanest and most well-supervised facilities, babies and toddlers will be exposed to germs and illnesses from one another that they simply would not encounter at home. This can be as mild as a frequent runny nose or lingering cough, or as serious as a severe cold or flu. Kids can be contagious before they begin to exhibit real symptoms of illness, meaning that it’s important for parents to understand that mild to moderate sicknesses are a very real possibility for a child in daycare.
2. Neglect – Most daycare centers do have enough oversight and some policies in place to prevent children from ever being the victims of abuse or mistreatment. Even well-intentioned hourly workers can be somewhat guilty of neglect, though, especially in a situation where one or two workers are responsible for a large number of kids. Provider-to-child ratios in large daycare centers are often far from ideal, leaving many parents justifiably concerned about the quality of care their children are receiving.
3. Food Allergy and Sensitivity Issues – When there are 30 children to feed and only two or three aides to accomplish the task, it’s easy for information about food allergies or sensitivities to fall to the wayside. In some cases, exposure to problematic foods causes discomfort but is ultimately harmless, while other situations can be very serious or even fatal.
4. Expenses – In situations where there is only one child enrolled in center-based care, it may be less expensive to opt for the center than to hire a private childcare provider. What many parents don’t realize, however, is that expenses can increase dramatically with each new enrollment. Therefore, the affordable option can become prohibitively expensive as your family grows.
5. Caregiver Turnover – With the exception of the most high-end centers, most workers in daycare centers are paid low wages with few to no benefits. As a result, turnover is a very common problem, and not just for center administrators. When workers come and go, your child may have a difficult time forming a bond with the person who looks after him. This lack of consistency makes it hard for him to become comfortable and feel secure with one reliable, dedicated worker.
6. Late Pick-Up Policies – Overtime is par for the professional course for many of today’s working parents, but that news doesn’t always seem to trickle down to daycare center policymakers. From pricey fees for late pickups to termination of contracts, failing to pick your child up within the proper time frame can become a very serious issue with his daycare center.
7. Negative Influences and Environments – Because you’re not in charge or even present in a daycare center setting, your control over what your child is exposed to and what disciplinary methods can be used is somewhat limited. It’s not uncommon for the parents of children enrolled in center-based care to feel very real concern about what influences their kids are being exposed to when they’re not available to monitor the situation.
8. Other Children – It’s never very popular or polite to say that other peoples’ children are problematic influences or bullies, but it is an issue for some parents nonetheless. From communicable diseases to bad habits and bad language, from pushing to biting, there are a variety of unsavory behaviors your child can be exposed to at the hands of his young peers.
Take your time. Don’t rush into it and make sure you do all your homework before entrusting your child in the care of anyone or facility!