There are many day care facilities available in and around the City of Gainesville. Day care services vary in both the services provided and the price for child care. Finding the right day care facility for your child can be a difficult decision. Below is information that will assist you in finding the facility and staff that meet your child’s needs as well as yours.
Finding day care facilities:
- Ask colleagues and friends who they use or would recommend.
- Many religious organizations offer day care facilities.
- Check the phone book and locate several facilities close to your home. Do an internet search for day care facilities in Gainesville, FL.
- Talk with the local elementary school personnel about who they would recommend.
- Check out the Early Learning Coalition of Alachua County at: www.elcalachua.org.
Questions for your search for daycare:
- What type of education and training do caregivers and management have?
- What are the facility’s standards in regard to cleanliness?
- What is the emergency protocol of the facility?
- What philosophy does the facility have on diversity?
- What is the ratio of children to staff?
- What are the service records of the staff (how long have they been working there)?
- Are background checks done on staff?
- Are meals served? Can you send your child with his/her own lunch/snacks? Is there an extra fee for food?
- What is the facility’s philosophy on discipline?
- What learning materials, toys and technology are available?
- Is there transportation or a bus available and are there extra fees for the service?
- Do they have references from parents who currently have a child in this facility?
Questions for parents with children in the day care center:
- Is your child’s development encouraged and supported?
- What things do you like about this facility?
- Is your child happy going here?
- Have you had any negative experiences with the staff, parents or children?
Questions to ask yourself about the facility:
- Am I comfortable leaving my child in this facility?
- Am I comfortable and trusting of the staff?
- Is the facility close to home?
- Will this facility help my child to develop?
- Will my child interact positively with the other children?
- Will my child make friends with the other children?
- Will my child make positive connections with the staff?
- You should start searching at least 3-6 months before you need to place your child in day care. This will allow you ample time to find the right location and secure an opening for your child.