When choosing a daycare for your little one, there are many cross-checks to do before you are sure the facility meets all your requirements.
This after a 2-year-old boy from Alexandra was burnt in a tub of boiling water, and with daycare officials evading responsibility, the incident is cause for parents’ concern.
Ensure the daycare center you choose is registered
Daycares should offer you a tour of their facilities before you sign up.
Go through the paperwork and the clauses thoroughly, ensuring that the facility is licensed, caregivers have the appropriate accreditation, and that the daycare is run professionally.
Registration, accreditation, and training
- Daycare facility: Any childcare center with six or more children in its care has to be registered with the department of social development. The registration certificate must be displayed and renewed every five years.
- Every childcare worker must have a clearance certificate from the National Register for Sex Offenders.
- All pre-school teachers should have a Further Education Training certificate in early childhood development level 4.
- Classroom assistants need to have child-minding courses.
- All staff members should have level one first aid training, with at least one being at level two.
Red flags to be alert about when choosing a daycare
- Child to caregiver ratio: In South Africa, this differs according to age. If you notice anything over this, bring it up with the daycare manager.
- Newborn to 18 months: one adult to 6 children
- 19 months to three years: one adult to 12 children
- 3 to 4 years: one adult to 16 children
- 4 to 6 years: one adult to 25 children
- The facility is unsafe or unclean: Any facility that is not prioritizing the children’s safety and health in its care is a cause for concern. Security gates and accessibility into the premises are big red flags to be alert about.
- Children are not engaged: Do the kids seem to be left to their own devices? Or are there structured teaching and learning programs?
- The daycare doesn’t allow unannounced visits: Why? Many say that parents showing up unexpectedly disrupts their routine and classroom activities. Still, it is a red flag if you’re not allowed to stop by, especially in the beginning, or just to randomly check that everything is ok.
- No parent references: If they have a website, the parent references should be up, and if not, the daycare manager should be able to provide you with valid references.