Studies show that children in daycare have a higher rate of injury than those who are not. Daycares present safety hazards different from those in homes because there are numerous children being watched by a limited number of caregivers. There are many steps you, as parents, can take to ensure your children are safe in daycare:
- Make sure your daycare is licensed. If it is licensed, it meets certain standards and is regularly checked for compliance.
- Visit the daycare you are considering, meet the staff and watch the kids.
- Make unannounced visits prior to selecting a daycare center.
- Ask about staff turnover. A daycare where staff members are happy will generally be a more pleasant environment for children.
- Ensure that safety precautions such as locks, stairways, and choking hazards are addressed.
- Ensure that outdoor play areas are fenced or otherwise protected from traffic and that equipment is free of protruding nails, bolts, or loose, rusty parts.
For more information, visit the National Child Care Information Center website at www.nccic.org/hcca.