A Place to Grow Learning Blog

  • Choosing a Child Care Center: A Five Point Checklist for Making the Right Decision

    Posted by on March 27, 2015

    Selecting a child care center can be a stressful experience. Of course, you want the best environment for your son or daughter, but sometimes the options can be overwhelming. It can be helpful to structure the decision-making process by using a checklist to evaluate different alternatives. Here are five factors that our parents found useful as they selected a child care center:

    1. Frequent communication from teachers and administrators. No one likes a feeling of uncertainty, especially about people as important as your child. Parents should look for a child care center that emphasizes clear, frequent communication. At A Place to Grow, daily letters from teachers smooth the transition from center to home. In addition, we offer fall and spring progress reports called “sharing sheets,” oral conferences throughout the year, and a secure Internet site where curriculum plans and photos are posted for parents.
    2. Documented education philosophies for children of different ages. Clearly the educational and care needs for an infant are very different from those of older children. The best child care centers have thoughtful, coherent education approaches for all the categories of children they serve. The staff at A Place to Grow have developed care philosophies for infants, toddlers, pre-school, and school age children. These are tailored to the specific social, physical, and emotional development needs of each group.
    3. A clear role for teachers. Child care centers should be places of learning, not just babysitting facilities. The teachers at A Place to Grow are charged with being learning facilitators. Their aim is to engage each child’s curiosity and motivation to learn. Our teachers accomplish this by offering suggestions, spontaneous and structured activities, and stimulating learning materials.
    4. An emphasis on health and well-being. Healthy children are happy children. A Place to Grow is committed to the well-being of all the children it serves. We have a professional health care consultant who is a Pediatric Critical Care Nurse at Children’s Hospital. She makes frequent, unannounced visits to all centers. During these visits, she reviews the menus, as well as all health and safety practices.
    5. A school that feels like home. Children are most content when the boundaries between home and child care are seamless. However, not every child care center achieves that goal. At A Place to Grow, a cornerstone of our philosophy is that we strive to be a place “where learning is fun and school feels like home.” For infants, we only serve food from home for the first 12 months. For older children, we encourage bringing toys from home which offer a link between the home and school realms.

    Finding a child care center that you feel comfortable with isn’t easy. We recommend that you to evaluate several options and to consider A Place to Grow. We are committed to all aspects of children’s development and every teacher and staff member encourages youngsters to value the three “Rs:” respect, responsibility, and risk-taking.