Daycare CentersFinding the Best For Your Child

Day care metairie

Finding dependable, affordable daycare at a reputable daycare center is a stressful job for many parents. Leaving their child in someone else’s care for hours on end can be a daunting thought. In every community there are at least a few daycare centers to choose from, and parents are typically invited to visit the facility before making a decision. Daycare has become a very important part of society today, much more than it was even one generation ago. Back then, more than 50% of children had one parent who stayed at home. Nowadays, statistics show that less than one out of three children have this luxury. Most households now need two incomes, not by choice, but by necessity.

In addition to being necessary, childcare can be an expensive proposition. Because of this fact, and because many parents have no choice but to work and depend on outside daycare service, many agree that there should be more assistance to contribute to the expense. Surveys show that over two-thirds of parents in the United States feel that both the government and businesses should be more involved in helping parents to afford good daycare services.

Basically, a daycare center provides care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers while their parents are at work. Most daycare facilities also provide before and after school programs for school age children up to the age of twelve years. The children can be dropped off on their parent’s way to work and can board their school bus right at the daycare center. After school, they can take the bus directly back to their daycare facility where their parents will pick them up after work.

Children not yet old enough for school will remain at the child care center during the hours their parents are working. Most daycare centers do provide some kind of learning program for preschoolers and toddlers. These days, about 60% of kindergarten programs in the United States are full day programs. Years ago kindergarten was typically a half day, either morning or afternoon hours. With the growing number of parents working full time, all day kindergarten is a step in the right direction.

Child care service is also available in many communities that provide a licensed, approved daycare provider to care for children in their own home. Many parents prefer this type of child care, especially for infants and toddlers, so that the children can remain in their own environment. Once they become preschool age, parents are more likely to move them into more of a classroom situation. Home caregivers can come from an agency, or can be a relative or friend.

Infant care in a daycare center environment consists of a separate infant room because infants require specialized care. Their nutrition needs are different from toddlers and older children and they need a different kind of attention. Parents will find that there are multiple cribs and changing tables, as well as other special paraphernalia that infants have need for.

Caring for infants at a daycare center will include regular nap and feeding times, and individualized playtime to enhance baby’s social development. Diaper changes are at least every two hours, and a separate infant kitchen is where caregivers will prepare food and bottles.

Preschoolers receive the attention and nurturing they need as well. A daycare facility will usually implement fun learning activities that cater to the attention span of three to five year olds. The focus is to have fun while they learn and to prepare the children for their entrance into kindergarten. They will be introduced to structured learning through engaging activities and play. They will spend time doing arts and crafts, learning to read, enjoying outdoor play with a group, singing songs, and even dabbling in age appropriate math and science activities.

School age children who attend a daycare center before and/or after school will find many fun and appealing games and activities. Breakfast and snacks are always provided, as well as lunch for children who are at the facility all day. Help with homework will be available for older children after school, and there are a wide variety of puzzles, games, and toys to choose from. Movie days are always fun, and nice weather will see children out enjoying the playground.