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Although daycare is not a common choice for parents in Indonesia, due to the low cost of having a personal nanny or child care provider in the home, it is available and is the choice of some working parents. When a parent leaves their child in a professionally run daycare, they can be assured that their child will be taken care of by well trained caregivers. This may not be the case when a household helper or nanny has the care of your children in your home.
A well run daycare can provide an environment that may not exist in a private home with a person who has had no formal child development training, limited education, and no emergency training. Professionally run daycares are not just babysitting facilities. They provide a nurturing environment that encourages the growth and development of the child through age-appropriate planned activities and positive reinforcement. The early years of a child’s life are a period that is essential in the development of child’s imagination and creativity. Well trained caregivers can help instill a sense of curiosity, and self-worth and encourage self-confidence in your young child.
There are many reasons for placing an infant or toddler in the care of persons other than their parents, but the decision to do so should not be taken lightly. When exploring if this option is right for you, the quality of the care is extremely important, and parents should do their homework to assure that their infant's physical, social, and emotional needs will be met in the most appropriate manner possible.
Factors that parents should consider when evaluating a day care facility for their child:
Reputation of the Facility
Talk to people and get their recommendations of the facilities that you are considering. Go to the facility in the morning and evening when other parents are picking up their children and ask them what they think of not only the facility, but the staff.
Ask about Staff Qualifications
The primary caregivers at the facility should be well trained and experienced in care and nurturing of small children. Although their qualifications may mostly be centered on the care of children, ask questions about their philosophy on discipline, feeding and sleeping and ensure that it adheres with your philosophy. Question the staff training on the handling of emergency situations and accidents.
The ratio of staff to children should also be considered. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these ratios for child care environments:
Safe and Clean Environment
Parents will undoubtedly be concerned about the cleanliness of the facility. Walk around the facility and look at the bathrooms, changing areas, kitchen, and floor. All areas should be well ventilated and lit. Ask about diaper changing and potty training and hand washing procedures and facilities and what is done to prevent the spread of water and waste -borne diseases. Inspect the toys in the facility as they may present a safety hazard to young toddlers if they are not age appropriate. Ask how toys for older ages are stored and kept away from younger children. Ask how often the toys are cleaned.
Schedule of Activities
A good daycare center should have an itinerary of activities for the entire day, along with periods of free play and rest. Activities that could be included are play time, story time, quiet time, lunch and snack time, as well as both free play as well as organized group activities. These activities could cover a wide variety of topics, however should be age appropriate. Stimulating activities that challenge your child’s imagination will allow the child to grow and learn. If the facility lets the children watch TV and engage in free play all day, you might want to assess the center’s appropriateness for your child’s needs.
Parents should be allowed to visit at anytime during the day. Good child care centers normally have an open door policy that allows parents to stop by at any time unannounced. Some centers in Jakarta have a web cam that allows the parents to watch the centers activities from their work place via internet. Some centers even offer clossed circuit television that is linked to the interne,t allowing parents to observe what is happening from the work place. These kind of features in a well equipt daycare helps the parents have peice of mind that there child is being given the best care possible.
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