Living cost is increasing dramatically which resulted in both parents work for incomes. There are normally two camps of parenting nowadays – one where a parent stays at home to look after the child, and more often than not in the current economic climate, one where both parents work. If you are lucky enough to have extended family willing to pitch in and help with childcare, then returning to work can be done with peace of mind.
In many cases live-in help or a caretaker is the better choice, principally in this part of the world; and there are also those who drop their child off at the neighbourhood babysitter’s home. But for a snowballing number of parents, the option of sending their baby or child to a day care centre is increased by leaps and bounds. This is basically because of few factors, which are wanting the child to have the company of other children, and having the reassurance that a reputable day care will provide education, care and fun activities in a clean and safe environment.
If you have made up your mind to send your children to day care centre, do some researches. Word of mouth is always the best way to start. Typically, you can speak to parents who have already gobe to a particular day care. Once you have narrowed down your choices, visit each personally, have a good look around and ask questions. Questions you are advised to ask would be:
· Is the staffs suitably trained to look after children?
· Is someone trained in basic first aid?
· What is the ratio of staff to children?
· Are the premises clean, safe and secure?
· How far is it from your house and work place?
· Do they toilet train the children or do they only accept children who are out of diapers?
· What kind of educational activities do they offer?
· How much time is spent on outdoor play?
· What kind of food and snacks are provided?
If you feel uneasy when visiting then find somewhere else. After all, you are placing the single most precious person in your life in the care of strangers so it is perfectly normal to only want the best and safest option.
The cost for day care is varied depending on few factors. It is depending on whether the child is in care for a full or half day, location of the day care centre, the activities, toys and foods provided. Normally, the cost will be around RM300 to RM1500.
In an ideal world, children from birth to the time they begin primary school should be cared for at home. An interesting study done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the USA noted that children who spent all day at day care were more stressed and aggressive than those who were at home. Indeed, this research concluded that this was due to the standard of the care provided. Therefore, a lower standard with less care and nurturing would greatly affected the child.
Things you need to consider when choosing a day care centre for your child:
#1 What sets the activity centre apart from the others and do the activities that they offer help you bond with your child?
#2 Is there value for your money, do the charges match the activities they offer?
#3 Are the equipment, tools, instruments or other related gears provided by the centre?
#4 Know what your child’s interests are. Are the activities suitable for your child? Some parents tend to choose activities that are based on their own likes and fancies rather than what the child wants to do.
#5 Are the activities guaranteed to increase the brain, motor and emotional development of your child?
#6 What are the other kids at the centre like? How do the facilitators interact with the children?
#7 Have you checked if the centre has the required licensing grants to carry out their activities?
#8 It should be a regular practice to do a background check of the centre’s staff.
#9 The Cardinal Rule: Take a walk through the centre and observe if there are any safety hazards such as point objects, slippery floors, etc.