Things to consider when choosing a day care - WRBL

Things to consider when choosing a day care

Posted: Updated:
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

On Saturday, Feb. 1, state officials will revoke the license of a Bradenton day care.

Earlier this month, investigators say a 4-month-old baby was found unconscious at the Children's Academy of Southwest Florida. The baby was later pronounced dead. Investigators say a staffer also tested positive for drugs.

It's a scary story for parents, and it stresses how important it is to find the right day care for your child.

Picking out a day care is very serious matter, so it doesn't hurt to ask a lot of questions.

A day care is more than just a place to leave your kids, it's school before they become old enough for the classroom.

"Learning starts at birth. We want children from the time they are born, really, to be given every opportunity to be exposed to experiences, to language, to reading, and to good solid relationships," said Claudia Malecki, who is Quality Services Manager with the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County.

Malecki says day cares can be vital to a child's upbringing, so it's important to find the right one. Early learning officials say there are some red flags to look out for.

"If you walk in and children are wandering around classrooms, crying, teachers not attentive to them," said Malecki.

Officials also suggest you spend time visiting day cares and look at the cleanliness of the place.

"You need to visit. You need to feel that preschool, if its going to fit in with you, your schedule, and how your child is going to react to the situation," said Malecki.

Also pay attention to the student-to-teacher ratio. All teachers must be trained and certified so ask about that, and day care workers should be easily accessible to parents

"I think there has to be an open communication between the director, the teacher and the parent. The parent being the first educator for the child," said Malecki.

You should visit day cares unannounced and come armed with questions.

"Make sure that they have an open door, and that you're allowed in to not only the building but to each of the classrooms," said Malecki.

If this has you feeling overwhelmed, don't worry. There are plenty of resources to help.

There are Early Learning Centers operated by the state of Florida, in Sarasota and Manatee counties and all over the state. The staff at the centers can help you find the right day care.

When it comes to inspecting day cares, state workers look at many details, from monitoring the cleanliness of the bottles to checking on the amount of available space between cribs.

Officials say even after you pick out the right day care, keep visiting, and keep checking up on them. Since these children will be spending most of their days away from their families, it is vital that they're in a safe and nurturing place.

Helpful Resources:

A Quality Checklist for Evaluating Early Learning Programs, from Florida's Office of Early Learning Day Care

Inspection Records at the Florida Dept. of Children and Families website


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • TPD - house fire on Ida St. deliberately set

    TPD - house fire on Ida St. deliberately set

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:26 PM EDT2014-08-30 18:26:55 GMT
    Crews with Tampa Fire Rescue arrived at this residence on Ida St. just after 2 am Saturday.Crews with Tampa Fire Rescue arrived at this residence on Ida St. just after 2 am Saturday.
    Timothy Mendenall spent the day cleaning up, after his rental home on Ida Street in Tampa caught fire. "All I know is when I got up the living room and the bedroom were burning," Mendenall said. "So we got the hose and buckets of water and then the Fire Department got here."
    Timothy Mendenall spent the day cleaning up, after his rental home on Ida Street in Tampa caught fire. "All I know is when I got up the living room and the bedroom were burning," Mendenall said. "So we got the hose and buckets of water and then the Fire Department got here."
  • Man struck, killed on US 41 in Tampa

    Man struck, killed on US 41 in Tampa

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-08-30 16:08:23 GMT
    The fatal crash is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. The fatal crash is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.
    A 43-year-old Gibsonton man was struck and killed Friday night while walking along US 41 in Tampa.James Warfle was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 10:30 pm.
    A 43-year-old Gibsonton man was struck and killed Friday night while walking along US 41 in Tampa.James Warfle was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 10:30 pm.
  • Missing New Port Richey couple rescued from Gulf

    Missing New Port Richey couple rescued from Gulf

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-08-30 15:39:40 GMT
    The Coast Guard towed the couple's disabled sailboat back to land early Saturday.The Coast Guard towed the couple's disabled sailboat back to land early Saturday.
    A Bay area couple that failed to return from a boating excursion in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued early Saturday approximately 10 miles northwest of Anclote Key.A friend of Bogdan and Elizabeth Makowski contacted the United States Coast Guard Station Sand Key on Friday after not hearing from the couple for several days.
    A Bay area couple that failed to return from a boating excursion in the Gulf of Mexico was rescued early Saturday approximately 10 miles northwest of Anclote Key.A friend of Bogdan and Elizabeth Makowski contacted the United States Coast Guard Station Sand Key on Friday after not hearing from the couple for several days.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.