8 Things to Look For When Shopping for a Daycare in Austin

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Finding a daycare for your child or children in Austin can be a tricky process.  Often, parents take into consideration a combination of important factors, such as affordability, location, and reputation.  A daycare that exhibits multiple favorable qualities will likely be a contender for securing parents’ business.  On the other hand, enrolling a child in a daycare with a bad reputation or history of complaints may only lead to worry and frustration.  This article will serve to facilitate your decision-making process by discussing several important things to look for when selecting a daycare.

If you would like to learn more about daycare negligence, daycare liability, or filing a claim against a daycare, call Zinda Law Group at (512) 246-2224 to receive a free case evaluation with an  Austin daycare abuse lawyer.

Insurance

Daycare insurance is a type of business insurance designed to meet the needs of the child care and child supervision industry. Daycare insurance provides business owners with liability insurance coverage and, in some cases, business property coverage.

An important but often overlooked question to ask a potential daycare is whether or not the daycare actually has insurance. Although many parents may assume that all daycares carry insurance, this is not always the case.  Some states actually do not require its daycare to carry insurance.  In some of these states, the daycare is required to post a conspicuous sign and notify parents and guardians in writing about its lack of coverage.

In the event that there is an accident caused by caregiver negligence, such as the negligence of the daycare or its staff members, there should be insurance in place to adequately compensate the child and family for the damage incurred.  Therefore, parents should be vigilant and take a proactive approach when it comes to figuring out whether a daycare has insurance.  Be sure to learn this critical information before enrolling your child or children in a daycare center.

Reputation

One of the most telling characteristics of any business is its reputation amongst those familiar with it.  In the daycare context, this means that parents can learn a lot about a daycare by understanding its reputation.

 One way to learn about a certain daycare’s reputation is to go online and read reviews posted by past customers.  Websites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp often allow users to search for the name of a daycare and read reviews posted by other individuals.  These websites may also assign a rating to a particular daycare.  Visiting these websites and combing through the ratings and reviews for different daycares is a great way to learn more about what a daycare has to offer.  This process may also help identify daycares that have a questionable history or previous complaints of caregiver negligence.

Another way to learn about a daycare’s reputation is to personally contact individuals who you know have offered their business to the daycare.  For instance, if you know that a co-worker, friend, or family member has previously enrolled their child in a daycare, you can ask that person what their opinion is regarding the daycare.

Familiarizing yourself with the reputations of daycares near you may make your decision easier.  Daycares with poor ratings, unfavorable reviews, and a bad reputation should be approached with caution when it comes time to deciding where to enroll your child.

Happy, Clean Environment

Daycares are expected to provide vibrant, colorful, entertaining, and sanitary atmospheres for youngsters.  Daycares that are clean and neatly organized may generally be a better option than messy, cluttered, or dirty daycares.  Similarly, daycares that have educational material, inspirational posters, and organized work stations may be more appropriate than those without such amenities.

Before settling on a daycare, consider touring several of your options in order to get a first-hand look at the center’s facilities.  Be sure to take note of how organized the daycare is, what types of games or activities the daycare has to offer, and the overall vibe of the atmosphere.  If appropriate, consider allowing your child to tour the daycare with you.  His or her reaction to a certain daycare may provide valuable insight which can be used when making a final decision.

Open-Door Policy

When it comes to daycares, an open-door policy can mean that an interested customer can visit a daycare and learn about its business operations without being turned away or having to make an appointment.  An open-door policy may also mean that a parent will be allowed to drop in in order to see how his or her enrolled child is doing.

In general, daycares with open-door policies are looked upon more favorably than those that do not have an open-door policy.  Such daycares may provide parents with a peace of mind by assuring the parents that they can personally check on their child’s well-being whenever they please.  For instance, if your child has been feeling under the weather, you will have the liberty to visit the daycare and evaluate your child's well-being.  This type of transparency is often highly regarded.  As a result, consider selecting a daycare who implements some form of open-door policy.

Educational Programming for Children

One of the most important characteristics a daycare can offer is its ability to educate its children.  Some daycares operate exclusively as a babysitting service, merely supervising children as they watch a cartoon show or play with one another.  On the other hand, some daycares go the extra mile and incorporate educationally rewarding activities into their schedules.

As you are narrowing down your daycare options, be sure to ask the individual daycare managers what the day-to-day activities consist of.  Daycares that can provide you with an organized, detailed, and well-structured schedule may put you on notice that the business takes child care and child education seriously.

Background Checks on Staff

Safety and security go a long way when it comes to daycares.  Parents need to know that their children will be safe when they are dropped off at a daycare center.  This means knowing that the daycare employees are responsible adults who pose no risk of harm to their child.

One way a daycare can boost its safety is by conducting background checks on its employees.  This precautionary measure allows daycares to filter out candidates who have criminal records or a history of questionable behavior.  Daycares that fail to conduct background checks may unwittingly hire a person with a checkered past, thus subjecting the daycare to liability.  Thus, when searching for a daycare, consider asking the management whether they conduct background checks on their staff members.

Qualified, Friendly Staff

In addition to making sure that daycares hire staff members with clean records, parents also desire daycares that employ friendly and qualified employees.  A daycare with employees that have experience working with toddlers and young children may be more likely to know how to conduct business in an appropriate way.  This experience can be a valuable resource that separates good daycares from great daycares.  Friendly and encouraging personalities may also allow your child to better enjoy his or her time spent at the daycare.

 When researching possible daycare options, do not hesitate to ask management how long their employees have worked at the daycare.  Similarly, you should feel free to ask whether any of the employees are certified in CPR or other related disciplines.  If there is time, try talking to an employee to get a feel for what type of personality they have.  Finally, you should consider asking what type of training new employees participate in before beginning their employment at the daycare.  Figuring out the answers to these questions may help you learn a lot about a particular daycare.

Low Turnover Among Staff

Generally, once children become familiar with a teacher, supervisor, or guardian, they grow attached to that person.  Daycares with a low turnover rate typically keep the same employees year in and year out.  This means that the daycare values the employee for doing a good job, and that the employee enjoys working at the daycare.  On the other hand, a daycare with a high turnover rate may signal a lack of continuity or the presence of some sort of disconnect amongst its staff.

Ask daycares how long each employee has been working at the daycare center.  Daycares with staff members who have been working at the daycare for several years may provide greater reliability and experience than daycares with relatively fresh employees.

Get Help From Zinda Law Group

If your child has been injured at a daycare, do not hesitate to contact ZInda Law Group. We may help you If you would like to learn more about daycare negligence, daycare liability, or filing a claim against a daycare.call Zinda Law Group today at (512) 246-2224 to receive a free case evaluation with an  Austin daycare abuse lawyer.