Parents.TV's Tony Martinez has some tips for choosing the right day care for your child.
Tony: I'm Tony Martinez. Welcome to Parents TV. One of the first decisions you may make as a new parent is about childcare. It's an important decision because to have it sent children develop when their young could last a lifetime. We went kinder care today to get some of the answers to those questions you may have about choosing the proper child care for your child. Well, we’re here with Cindy Saxton who is the Center Director at Kinder Care and thanks for letting us in this morning. Cindy: You're very welcome. Tony: Beautiful place. It looks fantastic. I wouldn’t mind spending some time here hanging out and that’s kind of what you're doing with kids. You're providing a safe environment so parents know that when they’re busy or working or whatever it may be that they have a safe nurturing environment to come to. Is that the primary goal of how you see childcare for kids this age? Cindy: Absolutely! They spend a very long period of time at our center. A lot of children do and so to offer them a safe and stimulating environment is our goal. Tony: The amount of time they may spend here with parents say they’re both working and so forth, that's a big decision, probably one of the bigger decisions certainly for first time parents that they’re making about their children. You know “where are we going to have this child during the day when we’re working?” “How do we choose a childcare?’ So I think for the couple, it's crucial. So when you look at that, the weight of that decision making process, what do you hear from parents about what they’re considering or what are the important things for them to think about when choosing childcare? Cindy: Well especially when we start with the younger children and we want to make sure that we are catering to their needs. You know impart program, we work on their schedule and their needs. And we make sure that we’re working hand in hand with the parents. We’re taking off where they’re leaving off. And we just, we want to make sure that we’re working with them, communicating with them and being a partner with their growth and development. Tony: What do you think parents seem to be thinking about when they’re making this big decision? You think about obviously safety issues. I mean you know people who the kids are becoming in contact with. So, that makes you think okay. You know background checks and all these kinds of things so, who these kids are becoming in contact with. So with your organization, how do you approach those issues in terms of who you are hiring to have connection with the children? Cindy: Well, working with kinder care learning center, it is very important for them to make sure that we’re hiring the right people. So we do do those background checks. We do conduct reference checks before we hire staff. Those are very important aspects to our hiring. We do some follow through training. We have a training program after we do hire the staff. So, we have continuous training with kinder care. A lot of those things are very important. I know a lot of parents are looking not only for safety but are the classrooms clean, what are the teachers like, what are their personalities like, what kind of schedule do they have, what kind of activities do they plan. Kinder care has—we do progress reports on children all the way—I mean beginning in infants all the way up through our preschool programs. That's kind of nice for the parents to have, absolutely. Tony: It would seem like that consistency is so important because if a child is here for it would be four, six, eight hours a day and they go home and the rules are completely different. You know when you’re four that can be confusing. Cindy: Absolutely. When they are here all day, we do have a consistent schedule which helps them to understand what comes next during the day. So they’re always prepared. We don’t like to surprise them at all either. Tony: If you were to sort of pick a few items for that checklist for first time parents, what is it that things that they should be looking at like maybe you know even listing them off? Cindy: Absolutely. When you look at our quality checklist, you're looking for items such as is the environment clean? Is it safe? What kinds of programs are being implemented in the classroom? Are they quality programs? Are they stimulating? Do they change with the time? What kind of just like we talked about hiring? What kind of hiring policies and practices of you have. All of those are very, very important. To know everything from the very beginning of the day is much how it's going to be safe to who’s teaching my child. We just want to make sure tat all of that is covered. And we want you to be able to feel comfortable leaving your child. So, we want to make sure that we’re meeting everybody’s needs. Tony: At the end of the day, you know kids are back with their parents, go back home. What do you hope at the end of the day that kids are taking home from their experience here? Cindy: At the end of the day, we really truly want to make a difference. And we do this about for every single day. Our children walking to our buildings, we provide them stimulating fun activities. We teach the whole child so that we are—they’re developing an emotional and social ways as well as physical and intellectual ways. So at the end of the day, we really want to make sure that they have had fun while they’re learning and that’s their job. Their job is to play. And it's our job to tap into that playtime and create an environment that’s got very stimulating activities for them so they can learn. Tony: Well, so much good information there. It almost seems overwhelming in a way but two big concepts to keep in mind. First, do your homework. Do you research. Know the things you want to know about the organization before you walk in the door. And when you do walk in the door, trust your instincts. This is an important decision choosing childcare and you want to make it right. I'm Tony Martinez. Thanks for watching Parents TV.