- Be sure to do a childcare center site visit. You will want to observe how the staff interacts with the children and also take a look at the cleanliness, safety, and organization of the child care or daycare facility. The childcare center should be properly lit and ventilated and have adequate spacing for the number of children. Ask about emergency procedures and illness policies. Inquire about curriculum and developmental activities. Don’t be afraid to pop in for a surprise visit.
- Look for a stimulating, structured curriculum. A daycare or child care center in the Wilkes-Barre area should have a structured schedule that includes plenty of learning activities, playtime, physical activities, group interactions, creative activities, meals and individual time. All curriculum and activities should be age appropriate and tailored to the educational, social and emotional development of the child.
- An educated, well-trained and caring staff is essential. Education in early childhood education and ongoing training is important, especially for preschool and pre k staff. Most importantly, the staff should truly enjoy teaching and helping to develop the children in their care. Staff should also be trained in first aid and CPR.
- Ask about the staff to child ratio. A childcare center, daycare or preschool needs to have an appropriate ratio of teachers or caregivers to children. Recommended for infants is a ratio of 1 staff for every 4 children. For 1-year-olds a 1 to 5 is required and for older toddlers, you should expect a ratio of 1 to 6. For preschool and pre-k a ratio of 1 to 10 is recommended.
- Check licenses and accreditation for the preschool, daycare or childcare facility you are considering. For instance, Building Blocks Learning Center is licensed by the PA Department of Human Services, PA Dept of Education and Keystone STARS accredited.
- Finally, ask for recommendations from other parents. Family and friends is a great starting point in developing a list of child care centers, daycares, and preschools for your consideration.
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