Shine Now! Magazine September/October Issue Issue 4 Volume 1 - Page 34

4-Simple Questions to Ask before Selecting a Child Care Center By: Sylvia White In the world of child care, many parents have few choices for quality child care they can afford. It is unfortunate that many must choose between what they can affordable and quality. Why do you ask? It is simple. Quality child care facilities carry a higher price tag in most areas. Also, child care expenses are rising yearly and the income of parents cannot keep up with the cost. The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) states the average cost for center-based child care is $11,666 a year or $972 a month in the U.S. So, “How can a parent select the best facility for their child while being able to afford it?” Below are four questions to ask when selecting a facility for your child. I also provide some issue to observe during your visit that includes the following: 1. Safety and Security - What are the safety and security features for the facility? Ask the director for a safety report. Find out when they conduct monthly fire drills. Upon arrival to the site, observe the access to the building. Is it open to the public or is access restricted by a security door. Understand the regulations and requirements for centers in your state. Look for their license and required certificates for operation. Ask the director if they fulfilled all local and state regulations. Inquire about the emergency procedures for accidents and incidents. Look for working exit signs above the doors. Licensed centers post their floor plans showing the exits must in each class room. Visit the playground and look for broken equipment and safety hazards. Observe the inside play area for storage bins and organization. Where are cleaning chemicals and supplies stored? Notice if harmful chemicals are out of reach of children and marked as hazardous. Check for broken toys and worn furniture. Tour the entire facility and not just the places they want you to see. 34