Colourful canvas aprons hang on a shelf in a daycare with bright walls

Must-haves: Stimulating outdoor and indoor activities for kids in Ottawa

Entrusting your child to a daycare provider is a big step, both for the kids and the parents. Naturally we only want the best for our children, but which of the many options is the best? We’ve compiled a list of things to look for when researching Kanata daycare options:

1. Safety

For obvious reasons, safety should be your number one priority when researching Kanata daycare centres. Carefully inspect the rooms your child will be in. Are outlets covered, sharp corners secured, smoke detectors installed and in working order? Also question whether strict pick-up procedures are in place to allow the release of a child only to pre-authorized adults.

2. Cleanliness

Inquire how frequently surfaces and toys are cleaned and also what cleaning products are being used. Your child may still be mouthing and could potentially pick up germs but also the residue from cleaning solutions that is left on the toys.

3. Staff credentials

Request to see the educators’ qualifications including First Aid, CPR credentials and background checks. Are Early Childhood Educators part of the program? You may also want to inquire about staff turnover rates of the Kanata daycare. Children tend to seek secure bonds with educators and may lack this sense of security if staff changes too frequently.

4. Stimuli

Considering the harsh winters we typically endure, a good offering of indoor activities for kids in Ottawa is crucial. Are the toys age-appropriate and educational? Are sensory play options available and encouraged?

5. Interactions

Are educators on the floor, mingling and interacting with the kids? Or are adults socializing amongst themselves? Try and stay long enough to observe a typical play situation.

6. Routine

Kids crave schedules and routines. Ask to see the daily programming. Does it cover both outdoor and indoor activities for kids in Ottawa? Is sufficient time allocated for rest periods?

7. Food

Are meals provided in accordance with the Canadian Food Guide? Is food catered or prepared onsite at the Kanata daycare? Request to see a sample menu plan.

8. Curriculum

Does the daycare have a curriculum in place? Ensure both stimulating outdoor and indoor activities for kids in Ottawa are offered, covering all educational aspects including social, physical, emotional and cognitive.

9. Reporting

Your kids may be too small to share anything with you. If they don’t talk yet, daily summary reports can be very helpful and also comforting. Inquire if the Kanata daycare centre keeps ongoing records of your child’s development?

10. Hours

Last but not least—what are the hours of the daycare provider? Do they match with your work schedule? Could you enrol part-time? Do they have set holidays?

At the end of the day, even if a daycare option scores highly, go with your gut. Choosing a daycare for your little ones is a big step, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to research all options available to you.