If you and your partner want to go back to work after the maternity leave, you have to arrange some kind of childcare for your little one. And that is not always easy, because there are many types of care possible. You can choose between: childminder care, a babysitter at home or the day nursery.
You may choose to house your child at a daycare center. Then a decent search starts, because the offer is huge. For example, there are more nurseries than registered hotels (!). How do you choose the right KDV that fits your lifestyle? Therefore we have drawn up a checklist in order to come to a choice of the most suitable day nursery.
The nursery has its advantages. Your baby is growing up in a homely atmosphere with peers. This ensures that he learns to deal with other children. They learn to play and share together. In addition, it forms a solid basis for when he / she will soon go to primary school. Children who have been raised on the KDV are already more empowered and know how to stand up for themselves.
When to go to KDV?
Children are allowed to go to the day nursery immediately after maternity leave. That is useful, because in the meantime you are not dependent on family members or a babysitter who can help. Children grow up here until their 4th year. Then they will be ready for primary school. A logical next step is to go out-of-school care.
How to choose the best day care center
First create a wish list, for what are you looking in a day nursery? And where are you looking for childcare?
First think about where you are looking for shelter. This does not always have to be close to home. Perhaps it is more convenient in your situation that the shelter is near your work. So you can pick up your baby right out of work, and in case of emergency you are just around the corner. In addition, of course you want the best for your little ones. You want to sit there in the car for 5 minutes longer.
Each nursery can offer other facilities. Therefore read well in advance what is included in the hourly rate and which play facilities the KDV offers. It may be useful that diapers are included and you may find it pleasant if your little one can get a fresh nose in the garden every now and then.
How does the childcare link up with your lifestyle? Do they have the same vision about parenting, for example? Ask yourself the following questions to find out whether the KDV suits you:
- Which delivery and collection time do they apply and connect them to your working hours; so nice that you do not have to rush every night.
- Is there a place available at all on your required days of childcare or is there a waiting list?
- Which method of education do they apply? for example Montessori, Steiner or Gardner.
- Are horizontal or vertical groups used?
- What is the disease policy? Is your child allowed to go to the KDV for some increase or do you have to provide replacement care yourself?
- What activities are undertaken? Is your little one playing in a room for the entire month, or do the KDV organize a nice outing every now and then? Or is there something fun with father’s and mother’s day where your little one will be tinkering?
- Handy: Does your little one get a hot meal at the end of the day? This is very useful for parents with late working hours which the little one at home can give full attention before he or she goes to sleep.
What should you pay attention to during a guided tour?
Now you may have found one or more interesting options. The next step is to plan a guided tour on location. It is important to taste the atmosphere of a nursery because, on paper, it may be the ideal location, but in practice it can be different. What points should you pay attention to during the tour?
How are you being received by the leaders? Do they take the time for you and do they also have an eye for the children? That is a positive sign! You can also taste the atmosphere. This is different for every parent. One person thinks everything is tight and organized, the other likes a homely atmosphere.
Rooms and furnishings
Your little one spends a lot of hours at the nursery. You want him / her to grow up in a pleasant environment. The building, the spaces and interior have a big influence on this. Daycare centers are located at different locations. This is also the case in monumental buildings or hypermodern buildings. It is just where you prefer; a warm atmosphere or a tight environment.
If your baby grows up to toddler then you want him to have enough challenge to develop himself. Ask during the tour how the leaders ensure that your little one will not get bored. Some nurseries even specialize in a certain area, such as: sports, music, theater, creativity and so on.
It is not easy for the leaders to keep things neat with children playing around them. Yet you want it to be clean. That there are some toys lying around can not be avoided, but check the following points:
- Is the sink clean? do not waste food scraps and dirty bottles that attract pests?
- Is the changing pad clean; Are there no dirty diapers and is there a cloth over the pillow?
- What does the bedroom look like; are the beds neatly made and clean?
- Does the KDV use anti-flea bags? Here you can store garments in the morning so that it is well separated from others.
Accidents are in a small corner and they have to stay there. You can ask the leaders how they ensure that the KDV is safe. In addition, you can also check a few things yourself, such as:
- How many leaders are there; for example, up to 4 children aged 0-1 years can be accommodated per leader.
- Are there safety gates at stairs and possibly other exits?
- Can children not walk outside independently?
- Can strangers easily enter?
- Is there a busy road in the neighborhood?
- Does the KDV have decent furniture?
As a parent, you feel exactly what your little one needs. So listen mainly to your instinct. A nursery can be good on paper, but in practice it can be a mismatch. Does not the day nursery like? Then just search for that best day nursery. Stay critical, because your child spends his / her first years of life there.