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What to Consider When Searching for Childcare In Louisiana

For parents, finding the ideal childcare program is a top priority. Searching for "childcare near me" is a good place to start, but this doesn't tell you much about your options.

Once you have a list of available childcare centers near you, you'll want to figure out what they offer. But knowing what to consider when searching for childcare can be difficult.

Follow this guide to help you make the best decision for you and your child.

Childcare Factors to Consider

Ratio of staff-to-children - Early childhood education experts strongly recommend smaller group sizes in child care settings.

For infants, the minimum recommended ratio is 1 staff to every 4 children. That number increases to 2 staff for every 6 children in children aged 12-36 months. When searching for childcare facilities, you want to look for high numbers of staff per child. With a higher ratio of staff to children, your child will be able to receive more individualized care and attention. This is not only good for their immediate wellbeing but also aids their development.

Better personalized care will breed more personalized relationships between children and their caretakers. These relationships, and the feeling of being nurtured, are a healthy and productive part of your child's upbringing.

Hours of Operation - Different families have different childcare needs. For some, the standard operating hours of 8 AM to 6 PM are a perfect fit. But other families require childcare that operates outside of those hours. If you have special scheduling demands, make sure this is factored into your childcare searches.

Many 24-hour child care facilities are operating in communities around the country. 24-hour and overnight daycare centers are a tremendous boon for families with parents who must work night shifts.

Activities, Rules, and Environment - Trying to determine whether a childcare program works for you is only one part of the process. Making sure it is also a good fit for your child is equally, if not more, important.

If you can, visit the facility with your child. Try to get a sense of what sort of activities are available. Do they offer games and activities that will engage your child? Do the other children seem like a good fit socially for them? Does the childcare program offer snacks, meals, or other services?

Other things to consider are the rules and management at each childcare facility. Most certified childcare programs will be good at providing positive, accessible rules that children can follow while at the facility.

Rules like "Be kind to others" and "Share with your friends" are staples in preschools and early childcare facilities. These guidelines are often intended to help children grow and develop, as well as helping to keep things under control. 

Try to observe how these guidelines are maintained at each program. Do they use positive reinforcement for good behavior? How are instances of misbehavior handled? Ultimately you want your childcare program to be an aid to your child's development. The classroom environment will play a major role in that.

Find Childcare That Is Right For You

It's not always easy to know which childcare programs offer the best fits for you and your child. And generic internet searches don't always turn up all the information you require.

Wonderschool strives to help reduce the stress of searching for childcare and help find childcare programs that suit your needs.

Wonderschool helps directors establish and manage their childcare programs in communities across the country.

We also provide resources and guidance for parents and workers to help create the best possible childcare for everybody involved. 

Wonderschool's network of communities is constantly growing and improving and making great childcare a reality for all.