Guide to entering daycare

Whether you’re a new mom or seasoned parent placing your child in a day care facility is both exciting and scary. As a parent your goal is to find a day care atmosphere that best fits your families needs and wants. This article outlines some things to look for when entering daycare, especially what to pack and how to prepare your child’s diaper bag.

After interviewing and choosing a daycare feelings of anxiety many times arise about what your child will be doing and how they will be cared for when they are always from you. These feelings of anxiety can be eased by clear communication, understanding your provider’s policies and care techniques, and by clearly understanding your child’s needs and your expectations of a day care provider is necessary for a smooth transaction. Finding and sticking with one day care provider helps create stability, security, and comfort for both you and your child.

At the infant stage, many providers request specific items be brought to day care. However, as a parent you are left wondering if another child is wearing your child’s diapers, if your child is being changed frequently enough, if the clothing you have sent is appropriate for the weather, along with other common questions good parents ponder about their child’s day away.

These questions can be answered by following one specific rule. Send a prepared, organized diaper bag to day care each day with your child. As a parent, knowing that you have packed weather appropriate clothing, plenty of diapers that you can count upon picking your child up from day care to ensure the amount of times your child is being changed throughout the day, plus the comfort of knowing that you have sent every item you think your child may need throughout the day helps ease anxiety about sending your child to day care.

At this young developmental stage, your child has needs and desires that they cannot tell you. So by sending a prepared diaper bag to day care everyday you help eliminate both stress on your child and yourself. As a seasoned parent, and experienced day care professional my advice is as follows:

1. Talk to your day care provider to find out what they request each child bring to day care. Be sure to understand your provider’s requests and prepare your child’s diaper bag accordingly.

2. Prepare an emergency pack to be left at day care for your child in case of an emergency or forgotten bag. Having this emergency pack at day care will eliminate any unnecessary trips home to get your child’s necessities. In this emergency pack you should pack 5 diapers, a small container of wipes, and one weather neutral outfit labeled with your child’s name. I suggest packing these emergency items in a gallon Ziploc bag labeled with your child’s name. It is the best idea to request this emergency pack back with the change of the season. This will allow you to see what has been used and re-pack an outfit that is sized to your growing child and more weather appropriate.

3. Send a diaper bag that is both prepared and practical. Make a list of the necessities your child will need during the day while they are at day care. For example, 6 diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, food and utensils (age appropriate), a healthy snack (if the provider requests), burp cloth/bib, and a weather appropriate change of clothing. (Some parents like to also send an emergency medicine pack including a thermometer, Tylenol, etc.) A second list can be made meant for outings outside of the day care. A rule to remember is that your child care provider does not have time to shuffle through a cluttered diaper bag, so sending an organized, well prepared bag with your child is both beneficial for your provider and your child.

Choosing a day care for your child can be both exciting and scary. Clearly understanding what you want and need for your child will help you tremendously. Preparing an organized, well prepared diaper bag that your child takes with them to day care each day can help eliminate stress and frustrations as a parent allowing you to enjoy your child’s day care experience.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 2nd, 2009 at 8:59 am and is filed under Daycare, Diaper Bag. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Guide to entering daycare”

  1. Lionfish Says:

    Seven Things Daycares Don’t Have to Tell You

    As a former police child abuse detective, I must stress that incidents like this are way under-reported. The more it is exposed the better.

    Every parent strives to find a good daycare for their kids. Being the responsible and intelligent parent that you are not different. If you’re about to enroll a kid in daycare, you know you can’t just pick one out of the phone book of off the internet and hope for the best.

    If you’re like most parents you’ll at least visit several daycares before picking one for their kid. You’ll do your homework, right?

    You have no doubt printed checklists and questions to ask during the appointment you scheduled to visit the daycare. Heck you might even stop by accidentally on the wrong date for your appointment just to see what’s going on when they’re not expecting company. You can take a quick peek, apologize, and confirm the “correct” date for your interview and inspection.

    During your interview you’ll ask about the staff and licensing. You’ll ask about lunch and snacks. The staff will do their best to answer your questions, and you’ll leave feeling good about a particular daycare.

    Meanwhile, back at the daycare, the staff and owner will be breathing a sigh of relief. There were nine things they didn’t have to tell, and they will be delighted that you didn’t know to ask.

    Here are the Seven things daycare providers don’t have to tell you:

    Some daycare staff members may work before their background checks are completed. You are smart enough to know better than to risk putting your child in the hands of someone you know nothing about. While it takes the state months to do a background check, I can do a complete background investigation in 72 hours or less.

    Daycare Providers Do Not Have to Tell You About Past Complaints to the State. You’ve heard the expression about something that looks, walks, quacks, and whatever else they do being ducks, right? Well complaint after complaint to the state, even if they were unfounded, should at least be a yellow flag needing further investigation.

    Daycare Centers Do Not Have to Tell You About Registered Sexual Predators in the Area. You can at least hope they know how many there are, which at least shows some proactive thinking on the daycare’s part. Check for registered Sex Offenders in the area of any daycare you’re considering. Just because the court told them to stay away from kids does not mean they will be able to.

    Recent Criminal or Suspicious Activity is Something Else Daycare Owners Would Rather Keep Quiet. Recent criminal activity can include everything from a potential child molester creeping around outside of a daycare, to stray bullets from a gang corner down the street. A pattern of traffic accidents in front of or near the daycare is another area of concern. This is especially true if the daycare’s playground is only protected by a chain link fence. The police will have a records of all traffic accidents at or near the daycare.

    Staff Criminal History and Contact With Law Enforcement History. As a former police officer, I hate to admit this, but the police can’t catch every criminal every time. Somebody who was investigated for child abuse or sexual misconduct three times in other states can still be working in the daycare you are considering for your kid.

    If they have not been charged and/or convicted, chances are good that they will pass the background check. Would you want someone who has been investigated for sexual child abuse three times watching your kid?

    Past Lawsuits They Have Lost or Successfully Defended. If a daycare center has been successfully sued, they still may be able to operate depending on the incident. Even if a daycare has been unsuccessfully sued for an injury to a child, it could also be a warning sign, or a sign the daycare owner has a very good attorney. Either way, your kid’s safety is at risk.

    Professional Daycare Licenses Revoked or Suspended in Other States. Since some state’s daycare licensing divisions are way behind others in technology and online records availability, some daycare providers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked in other states can still get a license somewhere else – even in Florida.

    Parents can check most of this information on their own. You can also hire licensed private investigator investigate this for you.

    If you’d like more information please visit

Leave a Reply