Four Things to Know When Selecting a Childcare Center

A mother meets with her son's daycare teacher at the Lionville Community YMCA childcare program in exton, pennsylvania

Choosing the right childcare center can be overwhelming.

Where do you start? What do you need to look for? What’s important and what’s not as important varies depending on the person and place, but you should always be on the lookout for a few crucial traits when choosing the best place for your child.

Our staff recommends four things to keep your eyes peeled for when it comes to making that final decision.

Welcome Home

Most parents will have a feeling of guilt when first leaving their kids at a childcare center. That’s normal, but it’s also why it’s important to make sure that it feels as much like home as possible.

“You want a place that will give you a sense of home and family," shares a YGBW teacher. “Parents should be comfortable leaving their children there." There should be a level of inclusion in a child’s day, including pictures, to keep parents as involved as possible.

Teacher Interaction

If your kids are going to be with someone all day, it’s a good idea to make sure that the teacher interacts well with your children.

“A parent should look at whether a teacher is going to physically get down to the child’s level, even with small babies, and really interact well with the kids,” shares Janet Kabakjian, Director of the Octorara YMCA Program Center. “There needs to be music, movement and reading, some hand games, things that are going to stimulate a child’s mind.”

Look Around

“Pay attention to the organization and environment,” Kabakjian said. “You should make sure that each child has their own space or crib. Each child’s information should be listed on a board, with his or her likes, dislikes, routine and allergies.”

A center might have a lot of kids, but it’s vital to ensure that your child will be well taken care of. Kids are not one-size-fits-all, so they shouldn’t be treated as such. A good center will be able to identify and proactively address any issues.

Feeling Good

Your mind should be at peace when you leave your child with someone. Sure, you might still have those guilty pangs, but there shouldn’t be a doubt that your child will be well taken care of.

“You want to feel good about who you’re leaving your child with. You need a positive relationship with them, so ask questions. They need to be able to field any questions, whether you think your questions are silly or not, and they need to be open to that.”

Learn more about the YMCA of Greater Brandywine’s childcare and early learning programs.

Childcare Locations include:

  • Brandywine YMCA - 295 Hurley Road, Coatesville, PA
  • Jennersville YMCA - 880 W. Baltimore Pike, West Grove, PA
  • Kennett Area YMCA - 101 Race Street, Kennett Square, PA
  • Lionville Community YMCA - 100 Devon Drive, Exton, PA
  • Octorara YMCA Program Center - 104 Highland Road, Atglen, PA
  • Oscar Lasko YMCA & Childcare Center - 1 E. Chestnut Street, West Chester, PA
  • Upper Main Line YMCA - 141 Berwyn-Paoli Road, Berwyn, PA
  • West Chester Area YMCA - 605 Airport Road, West Chester Area YMCA


Category: Family Fun Programs