Parents all have a check-list of what to look for in a daycare centre. Is the class a manageable size? Are the toys and equipment age-appropriate? Are the teachers experts in child development?
We would even inspect health and safety issues for each room – from the play area to the kitchen sink, down to the sleeping cots for your toddlers in daycare.
But what parents sometimes overlook are the details of the daycare’s curriculum. While it is important to study its policy manual and overall program, it is also necessary for parents to scrutinise the everyday curriculum of your child’s daycare.
A well-planned curriculum should encourage your child’s development in every important area: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive. The activities for the day should address all aspects of our kids’ development and not just focus on one area.
While it is best that our children have a lot of opportunities for safe and active play, for instance, they should also have a variety of activities and accompanying educational materials that will stimulate other necessary skills and interests.
Kids should learn skills
These activities should help them learn skills in socialising, reasoning, solving problems, developing muscle, socialising, using language, among others. The daily schedule should not only include plenty of time for physical activities, but also a wide range of activities that include group programs and quiet time.
Should include exploration
A well-thought-out curriculum will stimulate imaginative play and encourage your children to learn and explore more.
A sample of a structured schedule you might find helpful in checking out a daycare for your toddler should include free play, toilet time, story time, snacks, lunch, creative development, nap time and hygiene.
An ideal daycare centre should have the characteristics mentioned above. You should choose wisely as your child’s early development rests on a proper education.