Child safety is a hot topic among local parents after news of an area preschool cited by the state for an incident in which a 2-year-old's hands and feet were bound with masking tape for not napping.
We asked Patch readers to share parenting tips and the measures they take prior to making a decision on childcare.
Key things to consider include background checks, drug tests, reputation and interviews, according to the responses Patch received.
Here are some of the suggestions:
Among tons of research, I do random visits and I also ask someone I trust to go with me for a second opinion. Most of the time it's my mom, she is the harshest critic I know. —Melissa Burrows Brooks
I've done daycare for many years. Find someone who is licensed with referrals. We all have the same background checks and first aid/CPR requirements. And go with someone you are comfortable with. Someone you could be friends with. After all, you are going to be seeing us more than your friends! —Tawnya Marie Lopes
Take your child with you when you're looking for daycare. See how your child interacts with people at the daycare (and) back and watch them. Children are a good judge of character. Then when you leave aks children questions on how they felt (while) they were there. It works. —Kathy Murray
First step licensing firm. Ask for and contact any references (both parents that are there and those that have left), ask those references for contact info of other parents. Be prepared before visiting, ask directly if they've had violations, ask for specifics of any you are aware of. Listen to them, do they sound accountable or pass blame. Ask about their discipline policy, contact other daycare providers in the area and inquire about the one you are considering. Know who lives in the home if it is a homecare, who will have access to your child (One thing I make clear is that I never want to be surprised by a new person, I want to know exactly who is caring for my child). If you do place your child, listen to them, ask about their day. Show up at random times, make surprise visits. —Cat Bochow Penate
Readers also suggested checking out the following websites:
Do you have additional tips to share with other parents? Tell us in the comments section.