Do not to cut corners with day care selection, parents warned
Pick nurseries based on more than cost and location.
Due diligence is key if parents are to avoid unfortunate incidents at private day care centers.
This was the view expressed by former Director of Parent Education for Development in Barbados (PAREDOS), Marcia Graham.
Graham urged parents to forgo selecting nurseries based on the convenience of location or price, but rather on if that particular day care meets the needs of the child. She added, due to the allegations of mistreatment at that one nursery there was no need for parents to become distrustful of the system.
“Many people select a day care because it is convenient for drop-offs and pick-ups. But you have to know what you want in terms of your own childcare. The nurseries should have PTA’s where the management team from the day care center sit down and plan what they are doing so that parents are kept up-to-date with the activities of the day care center.
“When you come you don’t come and drop-off the children and run because you have to go to work. I know of instances where parents come on a ZR and they get off the van and drop the child and get back on the van because they don’t want to pay two bus fares but when parents make shortcuts then the consequences are there.”
Graham made her comments after disturbing allegations were brought to light over the weekend via social media about a St. James located day care and preschool facility, where it was alleged that children were being mistreated.
Graham, who worked with PAREDOS for seven years, told Loop News that this issue of mistreatment within day care facilities should not rest squarely on the shoulders of the Child Care Board (CCB) as they are usually known for carrying out their checks with nurseries.
“You understand that when you are caring for little children, although you provide general care that you still have to do specific care for specific children. The Child Care Board came around and looked to see that we were upholding all of the standards that were required.”
Graham noted despite the frequency of checks there were still some nurseries who may fall through the cracks, adding there was one nursery which had been opened for a substantial length of time without having the necessary registration certificates obtained from the CCB and was later forced to close their doors.
"I don’t know what would have gone wrong at that particular nursery. If you have been open for 14 years then as long as you are registered with the Child Care Board- because I understand that there are some nurseries that are not registered- but I think the onus is on parents to ensure that their day care is registered."
Therefore, she further advised parents to ensure the nursery they select displays the certificate of registration in a visible location. In addition, Graham said each nursery must also have a certificate from the Ministry of Health and the Fire Department. She added parents must be vigilant about the ratio of children to ‘aunties’, as she explained the requirements are one adult to six children under two years of age and one adult to 12 children over two years of age.