What Makes a Great Daycare
During the winter season, we have enough stress as it is – starting frozen engines, inviting all of the family over, Christmas shopping without the children finding out and planning an extravagant meal. With all that is on our plate, parents deserve the peace of mind knowing they can find a daycare that perfectly suits their needs.
The best Airdrie childcare programs are the ones that feel as though they were made for you. Look clearly into the additional benefits of each daycare. Do they have flexible hours? Not all of us live conveniently close to everything, especially driving to Calgary from Airdrie. Does the daycare have out of school pick-up and drop-off? Most importantly, is the daycare flexible in their pricing for working parents? Never compromise quality daycare for money saved. If the daycare truly is the best fit, they will offer affordable pricing and be a frontrunner in quality care.
We don’t want just anyone to look after our child – we want the most experienced, nurturing caregivers who love their job. What makes these caregivers stand out is not just the essentials such as education related to early childhood development, certification, training and knowledge in CPR emergency procedures, but their soft skills. Visit the daycare you are interested in and watch the communication of the caregivers between children. Within this role the caregivers should exude the passion they have to enrich the lives of children. The prime environments for our children are derived from foundations which foster equal respect. Children reciprocate the behaviour they have been shown and learn to trust themselves through how they are treated by those around them. Caregivers should speak with compassion and patience instead of authority. Make sure to note if the caregivers are communicating with children at eye level. Reaching a more neutral level to the child helps them feel safer, more in control, and more connected to those around them. Noticing what the caregivers do beyond just interacting with children sets the premise for a nurturing daycare. With over 10 year’s experience in childcare, Little Angels caregivers are empowered to grow the lives of the children they work with.
One of the first things a parent will notice when visiting a daycare is how safe it is. Safety is paramount to any parent’s enrollment decision. The daycare should be clean and organized. The toy differentiation by age group should be clear and the play space under constant supervision. The daycare must have nutritional food with a variety of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and whole grains. A focus should be made within the daycare to educate children on safe food practices all in the collective effort to help children learn about their best nutritional habits.
You will know that safety is a priority when daycares have written down easy to follow operating policies for children to view. Parents should notice the signs of childproofing throughout as they would in their house: stairs are blocked off by stair gates, toxic substances such as medications, cleaning supplies and small choking hazards are out of reach, outlet covers are tightly in place, the toys are clean and in good condition, and window blind pull strings are looped up and fastened to be out of the way. There is a balance between a child’s ability with their supervision and safety. The daycare’s caregiver-to-child ratios should be met. The Alberta quality standards of an acceptable caregiver-to-child ratio are:
- < 12 months the staff to child ratio should be 1:3 (Maximum group size of 6)
- 12 months – < 19 months the staff to child ratio should be 1:4 (Maximum group size of 8)
- 19 months – < 3 years the staff to child ratio should be 1:6 (Maximum group of 12)
- 3 years – < 4 ½ years the staff to child ratio should be 1:8 (Maximum group size of 16)
- 4 ½ years – < 6 years the staff to child ratio should be 1:10 (Maximum group size of 12)
- 6+ years the staff to child ratio should be 1:15 (Maximum group size of 20)
An Inspiring Curriculum
The way that a child learns and grows so quickly to the environment around them is an amazing thing. Daycare should cater to the constant need for children to learn, create and explore. The curriculum needs to allow the children to adapt, overcome, explore, discover, create, connect, learn, develop confidence and build creativity. The signs of great daycare revolve around varying schedules that allot time for snacks, meals, free time, group programs, individual learning activities, physical activity and quiet time for individual activities. Watch out for daycares that utilize TV and videos. There is a difference between technology used as a teaching tool and electronics that are used to replace times of learning. Little Angels absorbs the aspects of cognitive-intellectual growth, socialization, language literacy, arts and sciences, and develops motor skills. We pride ourselves on sustaining and advancing a stimulating curriculum.
If you have not heard anything about the daycare through word of mouth, browse through the daycare’s reviews. What most people say about the daycare is often the general feel you will encounter from it. Should you be visiting the daycare and see other parents, talk to them and ask them for their opinions. Extra information can be the deciding factor of the Airdrie daycare your child will go to.
After following guides, researching and asking around about the best Airdrie and Calgary daycares, never ignore your gut feeling. If the daycare feels right to you, it probably is.