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How to choose the right day care center

Wildwood MO daycare teacher working with student

How to Choose the Right Daycare Center

There is nothing more precious in our lives than our children. Whether they are brand new newborns, toddling two year olds or inquisitive preschoolers, there is nothing we want more for them than to keep them safe and show them they are loved.

It is no wonder, then, that looking for and choosing a childcare center in Wildwood MO, whether for the first time or the fifth time, is a nerve wracking process. Few decisions weigh more heavily on parents’ minds.

Here are some key pointers and information to help you find the best daycare in Wildwood, MO for your child(ren) and which will help you have more peace of mind as you search.

Important to know:
Missouri, and therefore a daycare center in Wildwood MO, can come in four types:

1) Licensed: this means they must meet the first, sanitation and health inspections required by the state and undergo yearly inspections by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Section for Child Care Regulations.

They must also meet adult-to-child ratio requirements which are determined by the ages of the children in their care. You can learn more about the specifics of the regulations here.

2) Licensed exempt: this applies to religious organizations offering childcare or preschool programs that operate less than four hours per child per day. However, they do still have regulations and must meet the state fire, sanitation and health requirements.

3) Exempt: this applies to caregivers who are looking after four or less unrelated children in their home.

4) Unregulated: facilities that are not licensed and which do not fall under the exemptions will have no enforced inspections or regulations for either health and safety or adult-to-child ratios.

Top 5 things to look for in a daycare center in Wildwood MO:
First, it is important to realize that just because a facility is licensed, it does not automatically mean it is a quality option.

Here are the top five things to look for to identify a quality daycare or learning center in Wildwood MO:

1) Open door policy and family involvement. Perhaps the biggest sign of a trustworthy and quality environment is a facility that allows parents and family members to stop by unannounced to visit. A facility that is clean, safe and offering loving, quality care is going to be proud to show you and/or your family members around. It is a good indicator that they have nothing to hide or be ashamed of and you have nothing to be worried about.

2) Adult to child ratio. Almost always, the more adults to few numbers of children increase the likelihood that the children are receiving quality care.

3) Accreditation. While this is not required, it is a very good indicator, as requirements to meet accreditation will go above and beyond regulations for licensing. A facility that chooses to become accredited clearly cares about going above and beyond and not just meeting the minimum standard.

A facility that is accredited should have a certificate that is visible in their facility proving the accreditation.

4) Low caregiver turnover. There are a couple of reasons this is important. First of all, lower turnover means more stability for the children. Second, of all, a facility with low employee turnover is indicative of a happy, supportive and overall healthy environment, which is certainly what you want for your child.

5) A license. Check to make sure that any facility you are considering has their license in plain sight, and if not, demand they show it to you.

A license will ensure that 1) they meet state health and safety standards 2) they meet minimum adult-to-child ratio requirements and 3) their caregivers have background checks and receive yearly training.

It would also be wise to check the licensing records, which are public, of any Wildwood MO daycare you are seriously considering. You can ensure that the facility is in good standing with the Section for Child Care Regulations and has no unresolved citations. You can also see their citation history as well as a complaint history, assuming there are any.

Choose The Right Daycare

Choosing the right daycare is a crucial step that will spark your child’s passion for learning. Browse our site to learn about our daycares in Wildwood, MO today!

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