Daycare Secrets You Don’t Even Want to Know

If you live in the US and are trying to find the perfect daycare for your child, we can guarantee that you’ve most likely hit some roadblocks. For instance, did you know that most daycare teachers in the US are under qualified? Or that the employee turnover rates at most daycares are abnormally high because daycare teachers are paid atrociously? Not exactly comforting when considering who you want to watch over your child. In addition to staff problems, some daycares also employ pretty lax security policies, feed your children less than nutritious lunches, and provide activities for your children that actually stunt their emotional and physical growth, rather than help nurture it.

Though we’re not saying all daycares are bad (and most of them are not!) we do hope you take this daycare secrets list into consideration when choosing the perfect center for your child. Factor in some of these daycare secrets so your child can reach his or her full potential!

Tour Your Daycare's Location, but NOT During Naptime

Touring a prospective daycare is vital, however, you should NOT schedule a tour during naptime. This allows the facility to dim the lights (concealing how dirty the center is) and keeps you from seeing how teachers and kids interact. In order to get an accurate look at a daycare, you must tour the facility when things are up and running. 

Source:  /u/blue_avocado

Don't Be Afraid to Donate

Daycare centers thrive on and appreciate donations and we’re sure you have some extra toys, books, and other materials lying around at home that could use some love. If your child no longer needs or uses these items, be sure to check in with your daycare about donations so other children can enjoy them! 

Source:  PFCCA of Georgia

Parents are More Welcome Than They Realize

Having trouble saying goodbye to your little one every morning? While most daycares don’t encourage you to be there every day, most parents are welcome to stop by for an impromptu visit from time to time. Not only is it a good time to watch your child grow and develop, it will also allow you to gauge how the center operates on a day-to-day basis. 

Source:  How Stuff Works

There Are Warning Signs That You Should Pay Attention To

Besides the other warning signs on this list, there are a few more that you should be mindful of. When visiting your child’s facility, pay attention if children are unattended, brushed off when they ask for attention, or ignored when they are crying. Young tots need lots of love, so if your facility can’t provide that, keep on searching. 


The Financial Burden Is More Than Most Families Can Handle

Despite the fact that most families need child care in order to keep their jobs, daycares usually end up being the biggest financial burden of all! In fact, child care costs in the US are more expensive than rent in 22 states! In California, the cost for full-time care in a licensed center is equivalent to 40 percent of the median income for a single mother. 

Source:  New Republic

Lack of Communication Is a Big Red Flag

Don’t be afraid to communicate with other parents about any problems you might be having with your daycare. It’s also important to consider how readily available the director is to communicate with you, as well as how openly your child can be in contact with their caregiver. If you’re having difficulty scheduling a visit with staff or management, that could be a red flag indicating poor business practices.


Your Child Tells Their Daycare Everything

Similar to a parrot, most children are experts in repeating everything they hear. If your child is old enough to speak, your daycare will hear everything that was discussed around the dinner table the night before. Even when you think you’re telling your daycare worker the latest family news, that look of surprise on their face is usually a bit rehearsed.

Source:  How Stuff Works

Your Daycare Should Stay on Top of Their Planned Schedule
Organization can make or break a daycare, and it has long lasting effects on your child. An organized program needs to be well run, planned out, and flexible. If your daycare has a solid schedule, that usually means you’ve found a solid provider. We also suggest asking your kids about their daily activities; if your child frequently says that they didn’t do a planned activity, you have every right to contact the program’s administrator.

Source: /u/kit25

A Licensed Daycare Doesn't Always Guarantee Your Child's Safety

In the US, most states require that anyone who cares for more than 12 children at a time has to obtain a license to stay in operation. This license “guarantees” that the daycare has met minimum standards for health, safety and teacher training.

While it’s great that there is an agency to monitor daycare centers, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Agency inspections usually only happen once a year and most facilities get by with fulfilling the bare minimum in safety standards.

Source:  How Stuff Works 

Daycare Rules Are Not Meant to Be Broken

Rules and routines are essential when it comes to operating a daycare. A good daycare must have specific guidelines regarding their various daily operations and also how it handles emergencies. There should be rules regarding the number of days it is open for daycare, the total daily working hours, and in an overtime necessity, what rules there are to be followed. Like your child, having rules makes for a better experience. 

Source:  BabyGaga

Most of the Toys Are Nothing More Than Germ Factories

Although most states in the US require agencies that regulate cleanliness in daycare centers, it’s tough to say if these sanitary rules are actually being followed. Though daycare inspections are required once or twice a year, few centers sterilize their toys on a daily or even weekly schedule. Even though your toddler loves putting any and every toy in their mouth, you should expect that it was probably already spit on by another child. Try to curb infection by staying up to date on immunizations and instilling good hand-washing habits in your child. 

Source:  How Stuff Works

While Daycare Workers Are Crucial, They're Also Extremely Underpaid

Even though they have your child’s life in their hands everyday, daycare workers in the US are actually some of the lowest-paid employees in the country. Though pay does vary by education and experience, most daycare workers barely scrape by on minimum wage. 

Source:  How Stuff Works

Kids Will Still Go to Daycare Even if They're Sick

While all daycares have policies about fevers, coughs, and viruses, not all parents abide by these rules. Rather than have their child stay at home, some parents are not above slipping their kid a fever reducer before their morning drop-off.

While most daycare providers will usually stop a child from coming into the center if they’re obviously sick, some kids can slip through the cracks, increasing your child’s risk for infection.

Source:  How Stuff Works

A Daycare's Reputation Matters Much More Than You Think

Did you find the perfect daycare center, only to discover its rep is less than awesome? While you’ll never find a perfect daycare, it’s important to take into consideration even a slightly negative reputation. In order to find the perfect center for your child, ask the provider for names and numbers of current clients and call them for references.

Bottom line: if you don’t hear good things and your gut says it’s not a good fit, keep on looking.

Source:  Babycenter

Check the Facility's Bathrooms While You're Touring

While touring a potential daycare, be sure to use the bathroom, even if you don’t have to go. The bathroom is a good indicator of how clean the rest of the premises are. If they skimp on cleaning the bathroom, it’s almost guaranteed that the rest of the facility is treated the same.

Source:  /u/blue_avocado

Your Daycare May Be Getting Your Child Sick

Get a group of young tots together and there’s no avoiding around it: germs will 100% spread! The germ factor is so bad that on average, daycare kids go to the doctor twice as much as other children who are not in daycare. You can blame it on poor sanitation and toy-sharing but daycare providers are legally responsible for keeping their spaces immaculate. Even though germs are unavoidable, you should double-check your center’s policies on cleanliness to keep your child as healthy as possible! 

Source:  Fox News

The US Doesn't Place Much Importance on Childcare

Yet again, more evidence that the United States does not give a s*** about ensuring access to adequate and affordable child care. Not only is there very little official information collected about it, there are also no regular surveys of quality and no national databases of safety problems.

Source:  New Republic

Don't Ask Directly About Abuse Because You Won't Get a Straight Answer

It’s never wise to ask a daycare director or staff member directly, “has your center ever been written up for child abuse?” They’re pretty much always going to say no and it’s a good way to piss them off. Give Child Care Licensing in your state a call and ask for information about the daycare. 

Source:  /u/blue_avocado

Daycare Providers Have Every Right To Charge You For Various Reasons

Though it can be annoying, you should realize how little your provider is getting paid. If they charge you for picking your kids up late, for taking care of your child even if they didn’t go to daycare that particular day, or if they ask for payments in advance, your provider has every right to do so. Even though it can get expensive fast, these extra charges help fund your child’s center and pay the daycare worker’s salaries. 

Source:  About Parenting

Get Their Disciplinary Tactics in Writing

All children need some discipline in their lives; how else do you expect them to figure out right from wrong?? However, before committing to a daycare, you should try to get their disciplinary tactics in writing. If no such document exists, you should ask the center’s staff for some real-life examples. If the tactics don’t match your own, then you definitely have a problem. If the daycare doesn’t seem willing to divulge its tactics, then that’s a big red flag. 

Source:  Today’s Parent

Teacher Qualifications Matter More Than You Think

Your daycare worker’s credentials are more important than you could ever imagine. A recent study found a link between early learning and development with teacher qualifications. The study (conducted by Rutgers University) found that three and four year olds learn the most when their teachers have four-year degrees and are specialized in early childhood education. Not only do accredited teachers help foster your child’s growth, they also tend to be more affectionate.

Source:  Today’s Parent

The Quality of Care in the US Is Abysmal

Though child care is vital for almost all parents, the US doesn’t seem to agree. In comparison to other countries, American daycare has abysmal standards. A 2007 survey by the National Institute of Child Health Development deemed the majority of operations to be “fair” or “poor,” with only 10% providing high-quality care. 

Source:  New Republic