Is this your child's first experience with early learning? You might already know to ask about the center's hours or the teachers' qualifications—but what else do you need to know about their future daycare provider's policies, rules, curricula, and more? Take a look at the top questions that parents who are new to child care may not think to ask before the first day of school.
What Is Your Inclement Weather Policy?
A sudden winter deep freeze, ice, snowy streets, and torrential rains can make it challenging for the preschool's staff to drive to work. Even though the roads may make your commute difficult too, it's possible that your employer will still expect you to come in. If you can't take a snow day (or other types of wild weather day), ask the childcare provider about their inclement weather policy. This can help you to plan ahead of time for additional care needs.
Along with how and when the center's administration/staff make the decision to close due to poor road conditions or sub-freezing temperatures, ask the director how they will notify parents of closures. Will you get an early-morning email? Is there a set cut-off time that they notify the families of closures? Will you need to review the local news websites or watch broadcasts to get information on a center weather closure?
What Is Your Sick Policy?
Covid changed the way many centers handle childhood illnesses. While daycares may not have constantly rolling two-week Covid quarantine closures, centers will still have sick policies. These policies help to protect your child (and their classmates), the teachers, and the staff from the spread of diseases such as Covid, the flu, the common cold, GI bugs, and strep throat.
What Does Your Curriculum Include?
Weather and sick policies or regulations are important. But these aren't the only daycare issues parents should learn more about before the first day of school. Not only do you need to ask the center's director or staff about the practical or everyday rules and issues that will impact your child's care, but you also need to discuss what and how your child will learn.
A center's curriculum should include a broad context for learning and more specific content areas or modules. These will vary by age level and should gradually build (grow more complex) as the children develop new skills and abilities.
Most pre-k curriculum plans will not focus on rigid lecture-like learning methods. Instead, the center's curriculum should include play-based activities that cover the physical, social, emotional, language, and cognitive development domains, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
For more info, contact a daycare provider.