Finding the right daycare for our kids can be a nerve-wracking (and possibly expensive) experience. Above all else, we want our children to be safe.
1. See the Facility.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised by how many parents haven't seen the inside of the daycare facilities their children spend so much time in. Getting a sense of the space and the activities your child will be engaged in can give you a better idea of the injury risks he or she may face.
If you can visit on a busy day when other children are there, all the better. By actually going to and touring the daycare yourself, you can confirm the facility has functioning toilets and electricity, and that it is free of mouse droppings, improperly stored knives, and loose marijuana that could sicken your child.
2. See Their Credentials.
There are national daycare accreditation programs (the National Association for the Education of Young Children and National Association for Family Child Care are two) and some states have their own quality control programs or licensing requirements for daycare operations.
You should ensure the daycare facility is properly licensed and accredited by local, state, and national authorities.
3. See the Signs.
You know your child better than anyone, so be mindful of their appearance and demeanor before and after daycare. Not all injuries, neglect, or abuse take the form of physical cuts or bruises, so know the signs of child abuse and know how to talk to your children about their experiences.
And don't be afraid to switch daycare facilities if you have a bad feeling -- often parental intuition is powerfully accurate.
If your child has been injured at daycare, you may want to consult with an experienced injury attorney in your area.