3 Environmental Signs A Daycare Is Focused On Learning


If you are getting ready to put your child into daycare, you are probably taking tours of the top child care centers you are interested in. While visiting child care centers, it can be difficult to figure out which centers really care about teaching your child and which centers care more about entertaining your child. Here are three things to look for during your tour that will show you the daycare you are interested in is set up for learning.

Lots Of Books

One of the most important activities you, or your child's teachers, can do is read to your child. The more your child is read to every day, the better off your child will be when they get to school. Since your child will be spending lots of time at daycare, it is important that you find a childcare center that places a high value on reading.

Every classroom should have a library that is accessible to the children in the classroom. Don't be afraid to stop and check out the libraries in each classroom as you tour the school. The libraries should be filled with books that are at the appropriate age level for the children in the classroom. For example, the toddler classroom should have lots of board books, whereas the preschool classroom should have longer picture books. You should also look at the titles present — does it look like the books are changed out on a regular basis? Do you see books related to the current season and time of year? If you are able to answer yes to both these questions, then this school probably changes out the books in their libraries on a regular basis and strives to provide students with interesting material that will spark their curiosity.  

Calendar & Circle Space

Next, keep your eyes open for a calendar and circle space. Even toddler rooms should have an age appropriate calendar up. You can easily tell if this calendar is actually used on a daily basis by quickly looking and seeing if the information is correct on the calendar.

Calendars and weather stations are a big part of young children's circle time. An area that has a calendar or weather station hanging up, a chair for the teacher to sit on, and a child friendly rug are good signs that the school you are touring runs regular circle time where they teach valuable skills. 

Labels & Words Everywhere

Finally, look at the shelves in each classroom. A kid-friendly classroom will have labeled shelves that allow students to access items and put them away all on their own. In the younger classrooms, there labels do not have to include words — they may just be pictures of what goes on that shelf. In preschool classrooms, everything should be labeled with words as well as pictures to facilitate letter and word recognition. 

When you tour daycares, pay attention to the environment in each classroom. If you want your child to be taken care of and to learn during their time in daycare, you want to enroll at a daycare that values learning. Lots of accessible and age-appropriate books in the classroom, calendar and group circle space, and labels are three environmental signs that the daycare you are touring actually cares about educating your child. 

For more information on child care and education for young ones, check out places like The Cottage School.


9 June 2015

is your toddler ready for pre-school?

As the mother of only one little girl, I have been learning a lot over the past three years. I have spent hours researching and discussing what is best for my little girl. Recently, I have been digging into what to do about her education. When is it best to get her enrolled in pre-school? Was staring her at 3 years old too soon? I have learned a lot about how to determine if your little one is ready to enter pre-school. Go to our family blog to find the answer to this question and so many more about raising your little one.