If you are expecting or relocating to Baton Rouge, you are going to want to find the best, suitable Baton Rouge daycare facility for your child. I relocated to Baton Rouge shortly after I found out I was pregnant with my son. I went into panic mode while trying to find a Baton Rouge Daycare. I was pretty new to the area and to the Internet, so I was a little overwhelmed by all of the daycare facilities in Baton Rouge. :system overload: After waddling around town, asking and searching, I finally decided to go with a Baton Rouge Daycare that was referred by someone in the family. I must say that my research skills were not up to par and I assumed that it was going to be a “hit or miss” situation. So, I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Yes, not only was I a nervous, soon-t0-be mother but I was also an idiot.
I had no idea there were so many resources available in regards to finding a good, quality daycare. Hey, we all live and learn, right? Eventually, I learned that the Baton Rouge Daycare my son was enrolled in was not what I had expected. Don’t we always want the best for our little ones? The experience of having my child in an unsuitable daycare pushed me to discover the right way to research for daycares in Baton Rouge. Doesn’t Dr. Phil always say, “You can’t change what you don’t know?” Well, now that I know…I’m going to pass along the information to you.
There are a few things you should look for and ask about when searching for a Baton Rouge daycare.
1. What is the turnover rate?
One thing I noticed about our previous daycare was that there was always someone being hired and fired. This actually says a lot about a daycare. Do you want different caregivers in and out of your child’s early, developmental stages of life? Dropping your child off at daycare and seeing a new teacher every other week? Not good. It was hard for me to adjust to so I can only imagine how difficult it was for my son. If a daycare has a high turnover rate, it makes me question how things are being handled and makes me wonder why people are quitting and/or why they are constantly being fired. Our current daycare is fabulous and the same caregivers have pretty much been there since day one, it’s almost a feeling of security and stability, not just for me but for my son, also.
2. What are the qualifications of the staff?
Some people are not bothered by this and others find it a necessary question when choosing a Baton Rouge Daycare. Each daycare has a different approach when hiring caregivers but I think it’s important that a number of the staff is qualified in some way or another. You need to know what you are looking for and what you want in regards to daycare worker’s qualifications. Most daycares have mandatory classes that caregivers have to take to keep them up to date on regulations and safety issues.
3. Is the Baton Rouge Daycare a Class A or Class B?
A “Class A” Baton Rouge Daycare must serve nutritional meals and snacks at three-hour intervals. Outside food cannot be brought into the center unless there is a medical condition or religious reasons. Also, a “Class A” daycare cannot physically hit or spank your child. Thank goodness. “Class A” must have liability insurance and 35 sq. ft. per child and an outdoor space adjacent to the building. They also are required to have safe playground equipment. You’re going to see strict rules and guidelines with a “Class A” daycare in regards to staff qualifications and administrative procedures.
To see if a Baton Rouge Daycare is licensed, click here.
Some other things you should take into consideration when looking for a Baton Rouge Daycare:
1. Health and Nutrition
2. Child/Staff Ratios
3. Safety + Hygiene
4. First Aid Training/CPR
5. Discipline Practices
6. Curriculum/ Educational Philosophy
7. Policies and Procedures (emergency, illness)
8. References from Parents
9. Holiday Schedule
10. Hours of Operation
11. Flexibility with pick-up and drop-off hours
13. Extra-curricular Activities
14. Television’s role at the center
15. Nap Schedule
How to find the best “Baton Rouge Daycare” for your child:
Quality Start Louisiana is a child care rating system for parents. This is a voluntary program for licensed child care centers who want to “recognize, support and increase the quality of child care throughout Louisiana”. This program offers child care centers the ability to increase their ”Quality Start” ratings by offering training and incentives that benefit the center, parents and children. There are new quarterly bonuses and tax credits available to parents who choose a child care center from the Quality Start program. To find a Quality Start Program Baton Rouge Daycare Center click here.
You can also visit Child Care Aware which is known for being America’s most trusted child care resource. Also, Volunteers of America provides parents with a list of child care services, so you can feel comfortable with the Baton Rouge Daycare you choose for your child. You should also consider visiting the “BBB”, which is the Better Business Bureau. This can be a great source for company info, accreditation and complaints.
If you need help paying for child care, there is a child care assistance program in Baton Rouge. It’s CCAP. This program helps low-income families pay for child care while working or attending school. The assistance is based on the number of hours a parent works or attends school. Also, the amount charged by the child care provider is taken into consideration, as well as family size and household income. You can visit the CCAP website to see if you qualify and also to apply for the program.
Here are a few of the top
Baton Rouge Daycare Facilities:
(the rumor mill)
Don’t shoot the messenger but the daycares listed above are the ones I’ve heard parents talk about the most. Of course, these aren’t the “only” top daycares in Baton Rouge but just a few to get you started on your journey to finding the best, quality daycare for your little one.