If you are a working parent, there are higher chances that you will have to take your child to an infant learning care center. As you already know, caring for a toddler or an infant is a complex task that requires one to devote significant attention and time. You are probably imagining how it would be like to leave your infant son or daughter with someone else. However, choosing the right infant learning program could give you peace of mind, knowing that your child is in good hands.
Here are four main elements that a good infant learning care program should have:
1. A Soothing Environment
Babies, unlike adults, are delicate. An environment that makes them uncomfortable may easily stress them. Hence, they may spend the entire day crying, which is detrimental to their health and emotional well-being. Some of the elements that make an environment soothing include:
- Gentle caregivers
- Regulated lighting
- Cool kid's music
- Infant playing tools
- Spacious studying and playing rooms
2. Highly Qualified Early Childhood Development (ECD) Teachers
Staff training is a major determinant of an infant learning care program's quality. Remember that you are not looking for an ordinary daycare center but a program that provides the much-needed stimulation during your child's early stages of life.
Studies show that children put in a facility with trained ECD staff have greater emotional development, cognitive acuity, and interpersonal skills. Thus, you should take time and enquire if the program's staff are trained in early care education.
3. Optimal Staff-Infant Ratio
At home, your child has everyone's attention. In the same way, look for an infant learning care program with an optimal caregiver-infant ratio. The National Association for the Education of Young Children provides strict guidelines about the staff-child ratio for infant learning centers in the United States.
For infants below 15 months, one ECD teacher should supervise three children. When you visit a daycare facility for the first time, ask about their staff size against the children population and do your mathematics.
Even when an infant learning program meets all the other requirements but it's not licensed, something is amiss. Why does licensing matter? When a daycare center or related institution is licensed, it indicates that it meets all the set state standards. Some of the basic requirements for licensing in the United States include:
- Child-staff ratio
- Training of caregivers
By choosing a licensed facility, you are assured that it has been inspected and approved by several authorities, including the local health department, educational licensing agency, and fire department.
Although taking your child to an infant learning care program is a hard decision to make, it might be the best thing that will ever happen to them. They receive the much-needed stimulation during this essential development phase. In this context, take your time and get your son or daughter the best facility.