When you drop your child off at daycare, you hope - even expect - for everything to go smoothly. While there are plenty of professional, responsible daycare centers, there are some who skimp on their duties. Here are a few issues to look out for as you're choosing your child's daycare.
A High Turnover Rate
Most daycare-related issues have to do with staffing problems. A high staff turnover rate could hint at deeper issues. Ask how long each staff member has been working their and how they like their job. If most of the staff has been there for years, they'll likely be more experienced and know how to react to an emergency situation. Plus, they'll have the added experience of handling multi-child environments. If most of the staff seems fairly new (and the reason isn't obvious), don't be afraid to ask about it.
Ratio of Staff to Children
In Texas, daycare classes with children under nine months of age must have one staff member for every four children. That number goes up as the kids get older (it jumps to one staff member for every nine kids by the time they're 21 months, and tops out at one staff member for every 22 five-year-olds).
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A History of Negligence
Check the daycare's state record for the number of incidents they've had in the last three months, six months, one year and two years. The more issues they've reported, the more wary you should be. Don't be afraid to ask a daycare about past problems and what they've done to prevent them in the future.
Broken or Dangerous Toys
Most daycare centers have strict regulations on the toys they allow and their condition. Take a look around the center. Does everything seem clean? Are the toys in good condition? If anything is ripped or broken, that's a red flag.
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