If you are looking for a good day care program, there are probably many things on your list of criteria. You are probably looking for a clean, secure location that has a good reputation while offering a stimulating curriculum with a low staff child ratio and that is affordable. While your program should definitely have all of these basics, you may also add being technologically advanced to your list. A good program will use technology not only to enrich your child's learning experiences, but also as a means to allow you to stay in touch and to keep your child safe. Here are a few things you may want to look at to determine the center of your choice.
Computers, Smart Boards, And Other Interactive Media
As a parent, you are aware that it seems children are now born programmed how to use technology. The difference between your abilities and theirs is the fact that children today have been immersed in technology since the day they were born. Even if you are not comfortable using a lot of computer technology, it is important that your children are digitally literate. The world that they will live in will only become more technologically advanced as time goes on.
Your day care should continue this immersion through the use of appropriate technology in the classroom. Technology and interactive media can be used to help nurture and develop the early learning process, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal interactions and creativity. Look for a day care that understands this and uses technology to supplement their teaching, not as the sole provider of their content.
Video Streaming/Live Surveillance
Many day care centers are now offering parents transparency by giving them the opportunity to monitor what is going on with their child through live surveillance cameras located in the day care. This technology allows you to log in from your computer or smart phone and see your child's day. You will be able to monitor:
- The activities your child is participating in
- New milestones and developments your child is displaying
- Your child's mood
- The amount of attention your child is receiving
- What they have for lunch, and more
Surveillance not only helps to keep your child safe, but it is also a powerful tool for shaping the performance of the teachers who are aware they could be being watched at any time. This accountability not only boosts their performance but also keeps their performance consistent from child to child.
Communication with your day care should be an easy process throughout the day. You should be able to contact them, as well as giving them a way to contact you, to ensure that your child's needs are being met.
Why should you wait until you pick your child up from school to receive any correspondence the school has for you or an evaluation of your child's day? A good center should be willing to stay in touch with you and keep you updated through the use of technology.
If your child stands in need of something, many centers will now just simply send you a text or an email letting you know. By receiving this throughout the day, you are able to shop for what you need before you pick your child up. This will allow you to drop it off then and not have to worry about forgetting to bring it the next day.
If your child is not feeling well, or is having difficulty playing with others, you need to know at the time it is taking place. This allows you to be able to make an informed decision about picking your child up early or visiting them at school. Programs that stay in touch provide a higher level of peace of mind, even when everything is going well.
Technology is here to stay. It should be used by all to ensure your child's day care experience is as rich as it can be. For more information, contact local day care programs and see how they use technology to benefit your child.