Daycare: 3 Steps to Ensure Your Child's Well-Being

It's completely normal to feel uncomfortable about leaving your children with a babysitter, nanny or other care-provider. After all, you're trusting them to take care of your most prized possession while you're gone. The good news is that even though you're not there in person, there are ways to ensure your child's well-being and determine if your child is being mistreated. On Sittercity.com, we call it the Three-Step Sitter Monitoring Process, but it can just as easily apply to daycare centers and other types of care providers as well.

STEP ONE: Assess the Match

  • Watch how your child acts when she arrives at the daycare. Is she excited? Distraught? Indifferent?
  • Pay attention to the care provider's energy level. If she lacks energy and enthusiasm, she might not be providing your child with the stimulation he needs at this age.
  • Familiarize yourself with warning signs that may indicate mistreatment:

  • — Your child's behavior changes drastically (she becomes excessively clingy or aggressive).
    — Your child cries, screams and begs you not to leave when he is dropped off.
    — Your child develops unexplained bruises, cuts or burns.
    — Your child starts losing his appetite or starts having recurring nightmares.

STEP TWO: Communicate

  • Touch base with the care provider for a few minutes when you pick your child up. Ask her questions such as:

  • — How was my child today?
    — Were there any problems? (If she starts blaming your child for things he did not cause or cannot control, this is another red flag.)
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