Searching for a daycare for your child can be an overwhelming task for families. From knowing what “bells and whistles” you are looking for, to finding something within your budget or close to your home — how do you choose what matters most when the list of “requirements” is a mile long?
Did you know that there are over 40 daycare centers in the Kennesaw area alone? That is 40 different centers you could potentially tour, interview & access for the needs of your child and family. The good news is that there are a few tried and true things parents should consider when selecting a daycare center.
- How long has the center been in business and what is their reputation?
Looking for a center that has been around for several years might seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to a “shiny & new” building, sometimes longevity takes a back seat. A recent study from USA Today revealed that only 20% of new businesses survive past their first year. Around half of all businesses no longer exist after five years and only one-third make it past their 10th anniversary.
Researching licensing reports and reading through online reviews is a great way to get a feel for the reputation of a daycare center. Licensing reports are fact based and often give a view of the daycare center that many families do not get to see firsthand.
- Is the center up to date on their staff training?
- What is their ratio of children to teachers on any given day?
- Does their facility meet the requirements of safety for the state?
These and other questions are able to be answered by viewing a prospective school’s most recent licensing report. Reading online reviews is another wonderful way to get a feel for prospective daycare centers. Many times online reviews answer some of the same questions you may have yourself.
- What is the ownership like?
- How do the teachers and administrative staff handle issues that arise?
- What types of things stand out the most to current and past families? (Both the good & the bad)
Yelp, Google & Facebook are the most popular rating sites for daycare centers in our area. I would suggest you review a few different sites to see what current and past families have to say about your top 5 choices.
- Is the daycare center accredited? If so, which accreditations do they have and how long have they had them?
Accreditations can tell you a lot about the daycare center, its philosophy and standards of operation. Accreditations might just seem like “something extra” to the unfamiliar, but accreditations outline many different standards of operations for daycare centers. There are several accreditations a daycare center can have:
- NAEYC — An organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. NAEYC accreditation involves staff and family participation, classroom observations, and health and safety checks. NAEYC has high standards that often go above and beyond the state’s minimum licensing requirements for child care centers with over 400 criteria among 10 standards.
- AdvancED — AdvancED is creating a global accreditation system throughout the United States, the Navajo Nation, Department of Defense Schools, and in 65 countries around the world. AdvancED is delivering unified quality standards for education through its accreditation divisions – North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). Through accreditation, schools and districts receive an external mark of quality; become part of an international network of 27,000 schools and districts; and gain access to a wide range of resources, professional development, and tools to assist them with continuous improvement.
- Quality Rated — Quality Rated is Georgia’s own systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school‐age care and education programs.
Accreditations are more than just an “added bonus” when you dive into everything they have to offer. Searching for a daycare that is accredited, often time means they’ve spent time focusing on certain standards to perfect them in everyday application.
- What is their philosophy and will it be the “right fit” for my child?
The philosophy of a daycare center plays a huge role in how they teach and the type of environment your child will be in.
- Are they more play based, or are they more structured?
- How much time is spent indoors and how much will they be outside?
- Do they offer any “extras” such as a language class, music class or an art class?
Finding the right program for your child might be different than what you’re expecting. It’s a good idea to research the daycare’s philosophy and ask for an observation day to get an idea of how your child fits into their environment. While some children do better in a more play based environment, others do better with more structure.
- What does the daycare center’s communication to families look like?
Figure out what level of communication you are comfortable with and find a daycare center that meets those needs.
- Does the school communicate to parents monthly, weekly or daily?
- What does this communication look like and is it able to be understood easily?
- Is the format electronic or printed?
Some parents prefer daily updates on what their child ate, how often they went to the bathroom and what types of activities they did throughout the day. Other parents prefer to communicate with their child’s teachers on an “as needed” basis as questions or concerns arise.
Foundations For The Future was established in 2004, and has grown to become a well known and established daycare and school in the Kennesaw, GA area. We are nationally accredited through NAEYC and AdvancEd, and also locally through GA’s state accreditation, Quality Rated. Every accreditation places emphasis on different parts of quality education and having multiple awards is a testament to our dedication to providing comprehensive, quality education for children.
Foundations’ goal is to instill a love for learning and exploration in your child through experiential learning and creative curriculum. Visit our campus to see how we have integrated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to stimulate each child’s creativity and natural curiosity. We combine this content with innovative teaching methods and an engaging environment to encourage every individual child to reach their maximum potential.
If you would like more information about Foundations For The Future Creative Child Care and School near Kennesaw, GA, or how Foundations meets the criteria listed above, please contact us by email at [email protected], via telephone at 770-429-4799, or on our website. You can also take a visual tour of our facility or schedule tour with our Admission Director here.