When you choose a daycare for your child(ren), do you take the time to actually visit the daycare, meet the staff, ask questions, and seek reviews? If not, shame on you. As a parent, unfortunately I have had my share of good and bad experiences with daycares. My first piece of advice is, do not call ahead and schedule a time to do a tour. Show up randomly, in the middle of the week, and ask for a tour on the spot. If you schedule ahead of time, obviously a director is going to make sure the center is sparkling, any deficiencies are hidden, and the entire center appears up to par.
The type of ownership here in Williamsport and Surrounding areas really varies as well. Some of the owners are just flat out cheap, don't want to provide anything to their staff or children that they are supposed to be caring for and do not properly care for the facilities. I'm sure every day care has its issues, it's really hard to find one that is perfect, although from what I've been told the Day Care at Penn Tech is amazing.
Remember this, too, cheaper isn't always better. Make sure there is a good learning structure in place, a solid meal plan where children are provided enough food on a daily basis. Make sure the place is clean! Familiarize yourself with regulations of daycares, so when you see something out of place, you know it.
Make sure the staff treat children appropriately, are not disrespecting them or screaming at them, and certainly not harming them.
Make sure that there are sound security features within the building. Cameras never hurt but entry-control is really the big one. This should go beyond key-pads and to the extent of people being aware of whom actually walks through the door. Staff should want to familiarize themselves with you, the parent. Make sure they're paying attention to who picks children up. I've had an experience where someone just let me walk in the door, after holding the door open for me, and let me walk in and grab a child(he did belong to, but they didn't know that), and walk out. I should mention an employee held the door for me. Not once did someone ask my name.
Responsible parenting doesn't just occur at home, it occurs in all facets of your child's life and daycare is one of the most commonly used resources in today's world. Be responsible and take the time to make sure you are comfortable with your choice. I'm not going to get into specifics of what Daycares I think are good and bad, that's not for me to decide for you, you have to do that on your own, but you should WANT to truly make that decision in good confidence.
Wesley W Hickok
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom-