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How to choose the right daycare

This list is a compilation of Russian parents' comments / thoughts on how to choose the right daycare.

 
Expectations (on the first glance)

  • convenient location
  • has appropriate developmental goals in place
  • nice facility (light, roomy, with wooden firniture and child-friendly design)
  • the room is big enough for the number of kids
  • the room is divided by areas with the developmental toys/activites
  • the staff has degrees in early education
  • there are appropriate number of teachers per child
  • not overcrowded
  • has close parent-teacher relations on the daily basis such as reports or other form
  • safety measures in place (two exits, etc.)
  • playground or backyard, and daily walks when weather permits
  • daycare policies/hours suite my needs
  • appropriate daily schedule
  • no TV (or limited TV)
  • no kids tied to the high chairs
  • respect to kid's individuality (no "soviet style" remarks in the raised tone of voice, labeling, inappropriate diciplinarian measures etc.)
  • drop by in the middle of the day and observe the classroom from the window. It's going to be clear right away if you like what you see
  • Go with your gut-feeling
  • Healthy meals and snacks made daily at the daycare not ordered in from local stores

 
Questions to Ask:
1. Vaca policy
2. Holiday policy – schedule of days off
3. Potty training
4. Early / late pick-up policy. Sometimes it costs extra
5. Weekends – if any
6. Outings and trips – where and when do they go, waivers to sign
7. Teachers / contact #s if available, specialties
8. Daily schedule – what classes, when, extras like music / dancing / etc.