Tips to find the right daycare for your child's needs

If you need childcare for your little ones, you want to make make sure you do your research on daycares before signing any paperwork. You not only want to make sure your child is in a safe place, but a fun and healthy environment.

Before you decide on which center works for you, take the time to look into the childcare center's history. In North Carolina, the state's Division of Child Development and Early Education make unannounced visits every year to daycares.

Inspections are done and you can find a history of those inspections and if any violations were given to each daycare center here. Take a look at the inspections to see if there are any red flags.

Make sure you visit several daycares to see which one meets your needs the best. Take a look at the staff to child ratio, what type of safety procedures they have in place, along with making sure the staff is first aid and CPR certified. Also, make sure the center is insured. Before signing any paperwork, read it thoroughly to make sure you understand the rules and procedures.

You can also check how many stars a childcare center earns with the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education. The centers can have anywhere from one to five stars rating. The facilities are evaluated on staff education and program standards. To learn more about that system check here.

Not all childcare providers are regulated by the state, so it's important to do your research. According to the division, religious-sponsored childcare programs continue to operate with a Notice of Compliance and do not receive a star rating unless they choose to apply.
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