When it comes to childcare in Indiana, you’ve got options! And while some parents are fortunate enough to have family members and friends available to help care for their children, others parents choose to send their children to a home daycare, use a private childcare center or enroll them in a part-time public preschool. All of these options have pros and cons, but there are a few basic things to look for when making your childcare decision:
Indiana state law requires childcare providers to meet basic safety requirements that include:
- Acquiring an official license from the state
- Passing state home or facility healthy and safety inspections
- Meeting minimum health standards for serving food
- Proving drug testing happens for all staff and volunteers
For more details, you can find more than you need to know at in.gov.
Here are other important things you may want to include on your childcare checklist:
- Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum
While especially important to pre-school kids, check to see if your childcare provider offers this for ALL age groups, even down to infants. Learning starts at birth and never stops!
- Additional Safety Measures
Ask your potential childcare provider if they take any safety precautions beyond what the state requires. Perhaps they have a unique check-in and check-out procedure or use finger-print technology.
- Teacher Education
What percentage of their staff and teachers has their Child Development Associates Degree? Are they currently working toward increasing staff training and continuing education?
- Communication with Parents
Find out if and how teachers and faculty keep parents informed. Do they provide written reports of each student’s day? Do they use a mobile app or other electronic communication to keep parents up to date throughout the day?
You may have many other things on your checklist for finding a great childcare provider. Always take a tour of the center and don’t be afraid to ask any question that comes to mind! A great childcare provider will welcome your questions and help you feel comfortable putting your child in their care.