As a parent, choosing a day care facility that's committed to keeping its charges healthy is vital. If your child becomes ill while in the care of others, not only will you worry about your little one's well-being, but you'll also contend with the stress and frustration of having to take time off of work. After all, sick children cannot be dropped off for child care until all of their symptoms have abated. Following are a few key things to look for as you consider your options in local providers.
To obtain state-issued licensing to operate a professional child care facility, each business owner must complete a specified amount of training. This includes first aid and safety training, and instruction on how to properly clean and disinfect all aspects of the child care center. Among some of the topics covered during this training are the disinfection of all toys and learning materials, the proper sanitation of bathrooms, floors and common surfaces, and strategies for keeping symptomatic children separate from other parties.
Although getting child care from an unlicensed person can be significantly cheaper, it always comes with the risk of leaving your little one with someone who's not equipped for the task. In most states, even at-home day care centers require state-issued licensing when more than two children are receiving care.
Evidence of Safety Precautions
When touring local centers or homes, look for evidence of all general safety precautions. This include covers for keeping small infants from tampering with live electrical outlets, cabinet locks for preventing access to cleaning solutions and other potentially harmful agents, and a sufficient number of recently serviced fire extinguishers. The best locations will have well-planned escape routes for fires, earthquakes, and other emergencies, as well as posted information on the actions that all workers and children should take in the event that the unexpected should occur.
Take Stock of the General Child Care Contract
Finally, professional day care providers always issue child care contracts when taking new students on. These detail the nature and cost of services, and the rights and responsibilities of parents. More importantly, they state the conditions for dealing with sick children. If any parents are allowed to drop unhealthy children off, your child will invariably become sick as well. The best locations have firm rules against bringing kids in when they have fevers, runny noses, coughs, or other signs of communicable illness.
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