Choosing a childcare can be an overwhelming process. There are too many options and it is not easy to discern which is the best choice for your child. Thankfully, there are a few resources available that should allow you to see through the true strength of a childcare’s offering.
But first, you must ask yourself what is important to you. Beyond the basics of safety and cleanliness, how important is curriculum to you? And if the curriculum is important, how does the center implement their program. Does the owner decide the curriculum or is there an expert team that designs the curriculum? Does the curriculum have proven results?
The State of Texas has an extensive list of regulations that have been developed over decades of experience. These rules have been developed based on things that went wrong, so those same experiences are not repeated. Unfortunately, not many centers do a great job in following Licensing standards. The good news is that you can search the compliance history of any child care by visiting this link and searching for the Texas child care: This link will show you any deficiencies the center has had and how serious the deficiencies were.
Most important though, is the feeling you get when you tour a facility. Here are a few questions to think about when you tour a childcare facility?
- What did you think about the ownership and management? Are they all about the money or do they have a passion for childcare? What about the teachers?
- What do online reviews say about the childcare? Are those genuine reviews? Beware of campaigns that artificially boost online reviews. Ask them about a recent customer who has written a review.
- Try talking to current customers to get the good and the bad
- Did the center focus on safety and cleanliness? What processes are used for keeping the center clean? What processes are used for ensuring proper hygiene? What processes are used for changing diapers? Does the center have a safe sleep policy for infants?
- What processes do they use to drive learning? Is there evidence of learning in the center?
- Are there any audit processes to keep the center running to some standards?
- In the prices charged, are there other hidden fees that may not be apparent (supply fee, activity fee, etc.)? Are there any activities that are included in the program (for e.g. dance, music, yoga)?
A thorough process of review should help you separate hype from reality!
A great place to consider is The Learning Experience at Plano or Allen for your child’s education. They believe in offering a quality product to their customers. When you come into the center, ask about the specials for Planomoms that they are running. If you register on the same day you tour, they will give you a $50 discount on registration if you print this page and bring to them (offer ends 10/31/17). We would also encourage you to follow this process of selecting a childcare to find one that cares for your little one like you do yourself!