When shopping for a childcare centre, you may know to find one that's clean and welcoming and which has a friendly staff that seems attentive to the children in their care. However, there are many other details you'll want to consider when choosing a childcare centre for your child in particular, and some of those details are very easy to overlook! Note a few of those details here so you know to thoroughly examine all your options for child care centres and will end up with one that works well for you and for your child.
A childcare centre should have a set routine for playtime, story time, naptime, meals, snacks, and so on. While the routine might need to be slightly flexible to accommodate energetic children, changes in weather that delay outdoor playtime, and so on, keep in mind that children usually appreciate some type of routine throughout the day; they may look forward to story time or need some playtime in the morning when they're full of energy. Without some type of routine, children may get disappointed when they miss their favourite part of staying at the centre, or may be overly tired at home because the staff overlooked naptime that day. Check with a centre's proposed routine and ensure it's balanced and reasonable, with a certain amount of variety of activities throughout the day.
Look for electrical cords, heavy televisions that are balancing on a flimsy cart, cleaning supplies, medications in the bathrooms, or anything else that might pose a danger to your child, and especially to young children who are not yet trained to avoid such dangers. You also want to check the exits of a building; these should not be chained and padlocked or otherwise inaccessible in case of an emergency, but should have some type of alarm, bell, or other notification when the door opens. This will ensure no child can easily slip outside unnoticed, and no visitors can arrive unannounced.
Television should be used very little throughout a child's day, but a childcare centre may sometimes play a video if it's raining outside, or if children need to get relaxed before naptime. Check the videos themselves or ask for a list of titles they show, and ensure that they are age-appropriate for your child. Consider any type of violence or other objectionable material that you may not prefer having your child exposed to, and if the videos are educational and also interesting, given your child's age.