What should I look for in a daycare?
I like the caregivers at my toddler's daycare, but I don't think they provide much intellectual stimulation. Should I look for a place with a greater emphasis on learning?
Submitted by Parents Team

In a quality program, caregivers should be reading to kids, talking with them, and setting up activities that promote learning -- from finger painting to block building to dramatic play. If you don't see these kinds of programs, then it's wise to look for another program. However, some centers are too academic for young children. Be wary of programs that emphasize school-readiness skills, worksheets, and phonics. The best predictor of literacy -- which affects success in all areas -- is the size of a child's vocabulary, and that will come naturally if he's in an environment where adults frequently chat and read with the kids. --Sally Lee

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with permission from the July 2004 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents Team
Community Answers (3)

As young children are learning to trust, and their point of view will be shaped strongly during the earliest years, how the child feels about the school and the staff and the other children would be most important to me. PLAY is the way they learn without stress, and gives them the incentive to go along with the structure that there is, and there should be lots of interaction with other children in free play times, as well as caring adults. www.grandparentoptions.com
Submitted by whattodo2

Also the daycare should be able to fulfill whatever needs the child has and encourage them to be challenged in new and creative fun ways. Also, make sure you do research. I can't tell you how important this is. But more importantly after the research, you should go in prepared with questions to interview the daycare provider. Visit the daycare to get to know the environment before you choose.
Submitted by Ch0.Hyung.Ryun1