Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2020

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2020 plenty of time (for him) to explore materials at his own pace." Safety and security are of paramount concern. Bring a checklist of questions during your visit to a center or school. Ask what security measures are in place for drop off and pickup, if there are classroom cameras and if procedures for fire/safety drills are documented. New York State has specific reg- ulations regarding staffing, so ask for the school's staff-to-child ratio to ensure that your child has ap- propriate supervision. Also find out how providers communicate with parents during the day. For instance, will they chat with you daily during pickup, or use a secure chat service to send you text messages or photos of your child? Consider how the school pace is maintained and orga- nized. Disorganized piles of mate- rials, dirty bathrooms and a lack of childproofing can be big safety con- cerns. Alison McBride of Stone Ridge is a mother of four who researched options for her children's daycare. "I think it's important to find a day- care that appears clean and safe for your child," she said. "Happiness of the staff when you go for a tour (is also important) and ask if there's a highturnover rate for staff. Many places look really nice but if they are constantly getting new staff some- thing isn't right. Your kids deserve to be around happy people." Enrollment cost can vary greatly. Private daycares may charge an hourly or daily rate while daycare centers and preschools typi- cally charge a flat tuition rate. If you require before- and after-hour care, or snacks or meals, an additional cost may be required. While the fee may not necessarily reflect the quali- ty of care, staff attitudes and a clean, well-cared for environment can be key to how well your child thrives. Roxanne Ferber is a mom, freelance writer and owner of The Whatever Mom blog. HOW TO DECIDE (Continued from Page 16) For more information on daycare center, nursery schools and preschools in New York State, visit: • care_listings.html • ferralagencies.asp •

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