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You think the world of your little bundle of joy, which is why you should look for the best Budlong Woods daycare. Securing a great daycare center can be a tough challenge, but it’s worth every effort. Researchers have shown that children who are sent to a high-quality daycare that promotes physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being develop better social, behavioral, and academic skills than those who attend a low-quality facility.
Budlong Woods is itself a lovely neighborhood where you can raise your family. It’s super safe to walk, delightfully quiet, and close to pretty much everything, from grocery stores to playgrounds and amazing daycare centers. To find a top-notch Budlong Woods daycare facility, start your search early and don’t rush your decision. Keep reading for everything you need to know to make this all-important decision.
How Does Daycare Work?
As the name clearly suggests, daycare is a child-care arrangement that enables parents to drop off their infants, toddlers, and young kids during the day for supervision, care, and sometimes, learning. Most parents resort to daycare to hold a job or free up time for short travels, grocery shopping, and perhaps some “me” time for the mom.
Some parents also turn to daycare institutions to combine working part-time with healthy home life for the good of the whole family. Better yet, daycare is a convenient and practical solution for single parents who usually can’t work and take care of the children at the same time.
If you are here, the chances are good that you already know what daycare is, and the importance of sending your tot to one. What you might not know, however, is that there are myriad varieties of daycare options. Nonetheless, most Budlong Woods daycares are either formal childcare centers or family daycares.
The first option you might consider when it comes to daycare is an au pair or nanny. These are traditional babysitters who may have some training in early childhood education. An au pair is often a foreign woman, normally working via an agency, who offers live-in daycare services in exchange for room & board plus a small wage. You can think of them as your own personal Mary Poppins.
An au pair is not for everyone, though. It’s a perfect option for parents who have the space to accommodate the au pair, and of course, love to share their living area with the child-caregiver. On the flip side, this isn’t for you if you happen to want more privacy or don’t have an extra bedroom. In that case, you can opt for a nanny, so your child can get at-home care but you don’t have to worry about where she will stay.
Daycare centers are formal drop-off facilities that specialize in the care of infants, toddlers, and pre-school-age children. They are usually located close to residential areas and you drop off your child for half-day or full-day, depending on your commitments. Some daycare centers also provide after-school and before-school care for school-going kids.
Some daycare centers, particularly those that cater to toddlers, have structured routine schedules, much like any preschool. In fact, the vast majority of traditional daycare facilities are run in the same way as pre-schools, kindergarten, or elementary schools, as kids of different ages are looked after in different groups.
All Budlong Woods daycare centers are required to have a license from the state and the City of Chicago. In addition to that, their childcare providers must have some formal training in early childhood education. Many of them belong to a regional or national chain, meaning that daycare centers operating under the same brand offer near-uniform services and use the same fee structure.
Formal daycare centers offer numerous advantages over other types:
Daycare centers do have some downsides, though. First of all, your child will be forced to go with daycare’s feeding and napping schedule. You’ll have to make two trips – one to the daycare and thereafter commute to work. If you have got an urgent need for daycare, you may be disappointed that your favorite choice has a long waiting list.
Family daycare is another popular option for parents who want to send their little ones to a family-like environment. True to that, this is a daycare option that allows parents to drop off their kids for care in a licensed provider’s own home. For young infants, this arrangement can provide them with the perfect mix of a serene home-like setting with the stimulation and socialization element derived from other kids.
What’s the upside of sending your child to a family daycare? It’s typically cheaper than nannies, au pairs, and daycare centers, to start with. Your infant will also enjoy close, loving relationships among peers and caregivers. You are also exposing your kid to a relaxed, cozy, and supportive environment.
How Does a Daycare Affect My Child’s Development?
Many infants, toddlers, and young children in the US spend a significant amount of time in daycare, but how does it impact their development? Does it have any effect on the child’s development? Most experts say there’s a huge advantage to placing your child in daycare even before they reach pre-school years.
Here are top ways daycare promotes your child’s development in a healthy, safe, and supportive setting.
– They support robust social and emotional development
Most daycares offer programs, activities, and an enabling environment that nurture healthy interactions and relationships with parents, caregivers, and other children. A daycare caregiver is much more than just a person who looks after the kids. They also use their training and experience to encourage curiosity, promote engagement, and help kids develop emotional skills.
Young children learn to be more social and develop emotionally by the simple virtue of being around caring adults and peers. Besides, great daycare teachers help young kids work through their fears, frustrations and encourage amicable interactions with others.
– Daycare promotes healthy brain development
The early years of a child play a critical role in brain development. Turns out, the quality and number of infant-adult interactions and connections a kid receives at a tender age can have a huge impact on their brain development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Accordingly, the interactions that your child will have in the daycare may help shape the way she behaves, feels, and connects with others.
– They offer a combo of fun and structure
It’s a well-known fact that infants, toddlers, and even older children thrive in structure. As such, it is wise to introduce your child to a structured and predictable environment early on in their life. In a good Budlong Woods daycare, all tasks – from sleeping, mealtimes, storytelling, singing, and playtime – are planned and structured down to the tee. And when you add fun to the mix, you are creating a truly supportive environment for the child’s brain growth and development.
Structure doesn’t necessarily mean caregivers are constantly instructing children. They consistently and patiently coach the kids and encourage positive behaviors. While having some structure might not seem much to a young child, it gives them a solid foundation for learning, socializing, and organization later in life.
– Daycares promote the development of language and cognitive skills
Children are supposed to perk up their vocabulary from around 900 words to over 2,500 words. Daycare centers expose children to a language-rich environment where they can grow their vocabularies and use them appropriately. Daycare activities like storytelling, singing, and vocalization can help promote the development of language skills.
As far as cognitive skills go, daycare facilities engage kids in thought-provoking activities that can stimulate and challenge their minds.
– They nurture a child’s curiosity
Daycare teachers usually create fun, age-appropriate activities, programs, and routines that pique the interests of the children. Even impromptu things like finding an insect on the playfield can be leveraged to stimulate their minds, fuel engagement, and foster curiosity. Some caregivers also use toys, drawings, household items, costumes, and role-playing to promote creative play.
– Interaction with other adults is important for a child’s development
Most infants and toddlers learn people skills from their parents and other adult family members. An excellent daycare provides the child with an opportunity to interact with other adults outside their home and see them as mentors and role models who they can look up to.
– Daycare prepares kids mentally, socially, and academically for school life
At some point, your child will have to leave the nest for preschool. Thankfully, a kid’s experience at daycare will help mold their social behavior, academic readiness, and speech development. In this way, daycares play a crucial role in streamlining your child’s transition into school life.
Several studies seem to suggest that kids who went to quality daycare centers have better math skills and stronger reading skills. Not just that; they are also better communicators, more curious, more confident, and great problem-solvers.
Is Budlong Woods A Good Neighborhood For My Child?
Budlong Woods is a fairly quiet, affordable, and safe neighborhood that attracts families and married couples. Low crime combined with great schools and kid-friendly spaces, might be one of the best places in Chicago to bring up a child. Fine dining, grocery stores, playgrounds, and parks are all within walking distance. Budlong Woods daycare centers are also top-rated and come in a wide variety.
How Can I Pick A Great Daycare In Budlong Woods?
Is it time to think about sending your little one to daycare? Once you have chosen to take your kid to daycare, it’s crucial to find one that’s best suited to your needs and conditions. Your family’s needs may be philosophical, practical, or somewhere in between. The following questions and tips will help guide your search for the best Budlong Woods daycare for your child.
(1) What do others say about the daycare?
Not all daycares are cut from the same cloth. Ask fellow parents, and you’ll hear an array of good, bad, and ugly experiences with daycare centers. As with any important decision, it’s wise to learn from the experiences of others.
With that said your best bet for zeroing in on a reputable daycare is by asking around. Leverage word of mouth: ask your healthcare provider, your relatives, your friends, fellow moms, and your trusted coworkers for recommendations.
If you can’t seem to get quality suggestions, take your hunt online. Every excellent daycare center will most likely have a great reputation with positive reviews from current and previous parents. Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Reddit can be a good source of unbiased information about your prospects.
Aside from ransacking social media and websites for reviews and information, ask potential daycares to give you contacts of parents you can reach for references. You can also compare notes with fellow moms.
(2) What are the qualifications of the caregivers and the center itself?
All daycares, whether home-based or center-based, are required to meet Illinois licensing regulations for safety and health to be operational. They are to be compliant with the latest laws related to the safety, welfare, and health of kids they take in. Ideally, your first-choice Budlong Woods daycare center should be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on top of having a state-issued license.
Make sure to ask the daycare about the qualifications of the staff, especially teachers and providers. While family daycare staff are not required to have formal training, we suggest that you look for one whose teachers and caregivers are trained in early childhood education or related discipline.
(3) What is the child-caregiver ratio?
Be sure to inquire about the child-to-caregiver ratio, and what their staff turnover is. Though Illinois Licensing Standards for Daycare Centers state that the maximum provider-to-child ratio is 12/1, the AAP specifically suggests a ratio of 1:3 for babies between 24 and 35 months of age.
For other age groups, the recommended ratio is set at 1:3 for kids ages 0-12 months; 1:4 for children ages 13-35 months; 1:7 for 3-year-olds, and 1:10 preschool-age children. These ratios are not set in stone; it’s always prudent to send infants and younger toddlers to a daycare where the provider-to-child ratio is as low as possible.
(4) Is the daycare safe?
Let’s face it; the safety of your child at daycare should be your top concern. When doing your interviews, consider asking a few of these safety-related questions:
(5) What’s the cost of daycare?
Budlong Woods daycare costs do vary from one location to the next, but it’s paramount to know what you will pay right from the get-go. Some daycares have subsidies or discounted rates for affiliate employers. Do they charge any additional fees? Do you have to pay for new supplies? Does the daycare charge per hour, weekly or monthly?
(6) What are the daycare’s operating hours?
Most traditional daycare centers operate between 8 am and 5.30 pm, but the operating hours tend to vary from one center to another. When selecting the right Budlong Woods daycare, check how long you will need to commute from work to the center. What happens if you arrive late for pick-up or drop-off?
(7) Does the daycare offer flexible or part-time child-care?
If you have a part-time babysitter or work part-time, then you may only require child-care help for a few hours a day. Some daycare centers also offer after-school hours. These are a superb solution for someone with an older kid. Check if they have some form of transportation to/from the school.
(8) Do they have a sick policy?
Make sure the daycare you are interested in has a sick policy that’s clearly spelled out. This will define the guidelines that address when your child has to stay home because of an illness. Are you comfortable with their sick policy? Does the policy work for you and your child?
What Do Daycare Teachers Do?
Daycare teachers have their work cut out for them. Here are some of their key responsibilities:
How Long Can My Child Spend In Daycare?
How long should a child stay in daycare is often a matter of age. A two-year-old, for instance, would find it beneficial to attend daycare at least 3 times a week for five hours each day. A study by the Child Health and Human Development noted that spending 36 hours in daycare every week is ideal for most children older than 3. Of course, it all starts with finding the best Budlong Woods daycare center.
How Much Does Daycare In Budlong Woods Cost?
Given that the cost of child-care has risen in the last few years, be prepared to pay around $1,230 per month (which translates to $15,000 annually) for a traditional daycare center. For an in-home daycare, the average cost is around $800 per month.
Do Daycare Providers Need To Be Licensed?
All daycare providers that cater to more than 3 children (including their own) must be licensed by the Illinois State Department of Children and Family Services. All Budlong Woods daycare centers must also obtain a license from the City of Chicago.