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How to Choose a Day-Care Center for Your Child

Choosing the right child care for our kids can be daunting. We want the best for our child but how do we find that perfect place with quality care, compatible schedule, space availability and a price we can afford?

Reader Cecilia Pirotto shares wisdom garnered from her personal search for the “best” daycare for her child. After visiting five centers, she decided on Meeting Street Early Learning Center. I believe her questions (along with your own list of priorities) are relevant and hopefully helpful for any parent looking for daycare and/or childcare.

Early learning Center at Meeting Street 2

Important questions Cecilia asked during her search:

Who licensed the center?

I learned that all day-care centers in Rhode Island are required to be licensed by the RI Department of Children, Youth and Family. I also learned that their standards are not that hard to achieve. What really convinced me to enroll my kids in Meeting Street is the fact that they are also licensed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Less than 30 centers in Rhode Island have been accredited by NAEYC, the highest standard around.

Is the staff educated, trained, and caring?

When I first interviewed with the directors and teachers I thought to myself, if I have a problem, would I feel comfortable asking them for advice? If the answer is “yes,” then that was a good sign. I asked about the employees’ education, too. It was important for me to know whether they had a background in early childhood development or CPR and other emergency training.

Is the place conveniently located?

A big priority for me! I didn’t need the center to be right next door, but I wanted easy access to the highway when I dropped the kids off and went to work.

May I look around?

I scheduled a tour to get a feel for the environment and teachers. I also asked about the curriculum in order to see how my children would be challenged academically. During the tour, I also asked what precautions the center takes to keep the children safe.

Does the center have an open door policy? 

I love this policy because it allows me to visit my little ones at any time, especially during lunch time while I was breastfeeding.

Does the facility have enough room to play?

Since we have long winters in the Ocean State, I wanted to choose a place with plenty of room for my kids to exercise and play indoors. Meeting Street offers way more than I expected: a huge gym, a pool, a music room, a big library with interactive tools and sensory rooms throughout the building.

I hope this list helps you to find a good place for your bundle of joy.

Cecilia Pirotto is a full-time mom and part-time bilingual marketing consultant for brands that use direct sales models to reach the U.S. Hispanic market. In 2011 she move from Argentina to Rhode Island where she now lives with her husband and 2 kids.

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