Schools will be letting out soon for the summer, which means that many parents are beginning what can be a long and arduous search for childcare arrangements. Whether you are leaving an infant for the first time or making arrangements for older children, finding the right providers and facility is important, both to your child’s health and happiness as well as your own peace of mind. Children’s accidents and injuries are all too common, and can cause serious, even life threatening harm. To ensure your little ones are protected away from home, follow our tips on what to look for in a daycare facility and how to know if you have chosen the right one.
Choosing The Right Facility
Whether you choose a childcare facility or a home based daycare, there are a number of things to examine to ensure the arrangement will work for both you and your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to consider how long the provider has been in business, as well as the levels of education and experience it requires from employees. Staffing is an important consideration, and the AAP states that national standards recommend one attendant for every four children, with no more than eight children in a room at any one time. Workers should be trained in CPR as well as in basic first aid techniques, and a list of medical providers should be on hand in case of emergency. In addition, both home based daycare providers as well as childcare facilities should have written policies in regards to how they handle discipline, mealtimes, communications with parents, as well as policies for handling sick children and for dispensing medications. Other practical considerations include:
- The hours the center is open, and whether they offer late pick up and/or holiday availability;
- The visiting policy, in terms of allowing parents to drop in and visit with their child;
- References and recommendation from other parents who use the facilities or services; and
- Information on what fees the provider charges, and what those fees include.
While informal childcare arrangements with acquaintances or friends may seem homey and convenient, having a provider who is licensed and accredited offers the assurance of knowing they operate under state regulations and face routine inspections, while allowing you to check for any reported violations.
Being Sure You Made the Right Choice
While you want to make sure you consider all factors when choosing a provider, you may have to actually try a place out before being completing convinced it is in the best interests of you and your child. In order to do your part in making sure the experience is a positive one for both of you, Parents Magazine recommends doing the following:
- Drop by unannounced. How the provider acts and what you see during surprise visits can tell you a lot about what is going on facility.
- Pay attention when you are there. Notice how the staff interacts with children and how well maintained the facility is on a daily basis.
- Communicate with the provider in regards to your child’s routines and behaviors at home, and ask questions about how your child is eating and interacting with other children and staff while they are there.
- Deal with problems as they arise, and voice concerns before they get out of hand.
Above all, trust your gut if a place does not feel right for you, regardless of what other friends or family say. Just because a place works for others does not mean it will work for you.
Let Us Assist You Today
If your child suffers an accident or injury while in daycare and you suspect your provider is responsible, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we provide compassionate, caring legal representation to help hold responsible parties accountable for your child’s injuries, and can assist you in getting the compensation they need to recover. We have offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland; call or contact our office online today for a free case consultation.