signs of a bad daycare

Is it time to put your child in daycare? Or do you need to switch to a new daycare provider? While the number of options to choose from may seem daunting, doing your research on various daycare facilities will pay off. It is an investment in your child.

Your child is the most important person to you, and you want to ensure they will receive the best care when they are away from you. When researching daycares, be cautious and look for signs of a bad daycare provider. Here are some daycare flags to look out for.

5 Daycare Red Flags to Beware

Lack of Cleanliness

The facility’s lack of cleanliness may be one of the signs of a bad daycare. While some times of the day may result in disorder due to snack times or special projects, caregivers are responsible for cleaning up as the day moves along. Dirty toys may indicate a dirty daycare. If a daycare is dirty, it can affect your child’s safety by putting them more at risk for contracting an infection or illness.

No Accreditation

While lack of accreditation may not be one of the signs of a bad daycare provider, accreditation is a sign of a good daycare. Accredited daycare programs offer a higher level of attention to educational activities that will help your child grow and develop, readying them for kindergarten.

There are so many types of accredited programs, making it difficult to pinpoint which is best. Nonetheless, a few noteworthy accreditation organizations include the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation, The National Accreditation Commission, and Cognia. Ask if the daycare has a curriculum tailored to each age group that coincides with its accreditation. These curriculums may list times for singing, reading, free play, outdoor play, snack time, lunchtime, and nap time if applicable.

Doesn’t Follow State Licensing Requirements

A licensed business confirms that the business is insured, follows regulations, and is inspected regularly.

Licensing is important since it covers many factors that ensure your child’s safety. Some of these factors are the number of children that one adult can care for at a time (child-caregiver ratio), how children are supervised, and building safety, including emergency exits, repairs, and potential dangers. Cleanliness, such as handwashing, diapering, and other methods to stop spreading disease, are also included in license regulations. If the daycare serves food, nutrition regulations are followed. Background checks, CPR, and first aid training are also mandated by state laws for the safety of the children.

Most daycares have their license somewhere you can see, and if you cannot locate it, simply ask to see it. If you feel that the daycare is in violation, you may wonder how to report a bad daycare. You may contact your state’s Department of Economic Security in regards to this.

Activities Don’t Support Development

A lack of stimulating activities is also a sign of a bad daycare provider. A child grows best with social, mental, and emotional development. Pay attention to the types of toys the daycare has and how different play areas are set up. Feel free to ask how often toys are switched out and cleaned.

Different daycares may have different educational philosophies as well, so it doesn’t hurt to ask about the curriculum. Singing songs and reading books are both examples of activities that support a child’s development. By reading and singing to children, they can learn a language faster, understand it, and eventually speak it.

No Communication

A daycare should provide regular communication. The type of communication may vary based on the age of the child. Some daycares will send a small piece of paper home with your baby, listing the times and types of diaper changes, feedings, as well as some comments about their day. If you have an older child, the daycare may still provide this type of update or even send out an email to the parents of that class with a short update on the group’s day, along with several photos.

It is also perfectly acceptable when picking up your child to ask the caregiver how your child’s day went, in addition to them providing the above updates. If caregivers seem rushed or like they can’t be bothered with your concerns, be wary.

Support Your Child’s Development at Cadence Education

Choosing a daycare provider for your child is an exciting but daunting task—keep these red flags in mind when choosing a daycare or switching daycares and trust your gut. Cadence Education is a great resource to use as part of your search.

Cadence Education uses an expertly developed curriculum to give every child the skills and confidence to succeed while in their care. Cadence Education’s programs are available for children as young as 6 weeks and up to 12 years old. They also have a preschool and pre-K program to help ready kids for kindergarten. Contact your local Cadence Education location for more information.