signs of a bad daycare

13 Signs of a Bad Daycare: Keep Your Eyes Peeled for These Clues

Looking for a new daycare can be stressful. You might think that all the signs are obvious and easy to spot. But in reality there are many different signs that indicate your child’s daycare could be dangerous. Below are 13 signs of a bad daycare. Keep an eye out for these signs when searching for the perfect fit!

High Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can be a sign of many things, including the fact that employees don’t like their working environment. Look for signs of high employee turnover. Because poorly managed daycares often struggle with staff members quitting without notice and often shuffle employees around.

Complaints on google or social media

The signs of a bad daycare will not always be seen on the surface. You may need to take a deeper look. Search public records and reviews for complaints. Social media is a great place to start. Look for reoccurring issues, such as similar complaints from multiple parents.

RELATED: How to Tackle the Daycare Transition

It’s dirty and disorganized

A clean and well-organized daycare is a good sign that the staff members are doing their job properly. Dirty floors, disorganized toys, and trash laying around are signs your daycare does not prioritize your child’s health and safety.

There’s no educational materials posted on the walls

Look for signs that the employees at your child’s daycare care about education. Great daycare providers put educational materials on the walls. They should be age appropriate posters or signs to help kids develop and grow. If the walls are bare, it’s a problem. You should not expect your child to receive much stimulation during their time there.

You notice they are over the staff/child ratio

Your state or county mandates child to staff ratios. Pay attention to the number of children per each staff member and check with your local authorities to make sure the daycare is in compliance. One of the signs that a daycare is not well-managed or safe for your child could be if there are too many children and/or staff members.

Staff qualifications aren’t well documented

In order to ensure that your child is being taken care of correctly, there should be documentation from the staff members proving their education and qualifications. If you notice a lack of well-organized records for staff member credentials or no experience listed on resumes or website profiles of employees, this could indicate an issue with management at the daycare.

signs of a bad daycare
signs of a bad daycare

Bad attitudes from employees are

Bad attitudes from employees towards children and adults is not acceptable in a daycare setting. Look for signs that staff members are rude or have poor communication skills. This could be an indication that your child’s safety isn’t being considered when taken care of by these people.

There’s no curriculum 

A daycare with no educational plan, including curriculum, goals or checklists, for what the employees is not a quality daycare. If you notice a lack of organized lessons plans and activities to keep your child mentally stimulated while they are away from home, this could mean that your child will not receive much from their daycare.

You notice visible safety issues

If you notice signs such as exposed electrical outlets or sharp edges on furniture, or other obvious safety issues, it’s a giant red flag. Daycare providers should thoroughly baby-proof any room where children spend time.

There’s no clear communication strategy 

A clear communication strategy to keep parents updated on their child’s activities and well-being is an important part of a safe daycare. If you notice signs such as unclear or absent information about what happens during the day, this could be because management at your child’s daycare does not prioritize providing consistent updates for parents.

Vague or undocumented policies

There should be clear and consistent documentation of daycare policies, if management is serious about their business. You should know what happens when your child gets sick, or has a potty accident, or is the victim of a bitting toddler (and you shouldn’t need to ask). If you notice signs such as unclear information at registration, on the website or vague answers from employees, this could be because the daycare does not prioritize providing clear information to parents.

Inconsistencies in policy enforcement

Your daycare provider should enforce policies consistently. If you notice that some kids are treated differently, or that some employees don’t need to follow the rules, it’s a problem. Daycare providers who do not enforce policies consistently are usually unorganized and don’t prioritize the care of your little one.

Inattentive caregivers

Inattentive caregivers could be signs that your child’s safety is not a priority at the daycare you have chosen. Distracted and unfocused employees mean that the organization lacks proper management and planning. Great caregivers give children their undivided attention.

The Bottom Line

If you notice any of these 13 signs of a bad daycare, it’s time to move on to a better place for your child. Don’t risk your child’s safety and well-being on a sub-par daycare facility.

What You Should Do Next…

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