What Makes a Daycare Stand Out? The 5 Best Factors to Search For

When it comes to the care and development of our children, picking the right daycare is a monumental decision for any parent. You know how crucial a role that early childhood education can play in your toddler’s development, so you want the center that best allows their little mind and body to flourish. But there are so many choices! Most of them have pretty good reviews! How can you tell which ones are just average, and which ones are truly exceptional? Hint: It has little to do with how much they charge for tuition! The most expensive daycares in the Lewis Center area does not automatically mean they are the best. Instead of price alone, here are 5 of the best things to look for as you go tour daycares:

1) Unique and Innovative Educational Curriculum

Education is the cornerstone of any stand-out daycare. Going well beyond basic supervised childcare, these schools integrate innovative educational programs tailored to your child’s specific developmental stage. These usually fall into two categories: Structured Learning and Play-Based Learning. With structured learning they sit at a table and are given a page to color, a craft to work, some construction paper to cut and glue, or other simple task that uses their hands and mind, developing fine motor skills and problem-solving. With Play-Based Learning, what looks like a toy is actually an education in disguise. Perhaps it’s building blocks, a memory game, or playing dress up. It’s imaginative play, physical excercise, and complex problem solving all wrapped up into one!

Penguin Crossing has a phenomenal curriculum, supplemented with rich extracurricular activities, that make bringing your child(ren) to school easy and fun! Schedule a Tour today and we can show you all about it.

2) Exceptional Teachers

The beating heart of any outstanding daycare is their teachers. After all, this is the person, or people, who will be spending the direct time with your child day in, and day out. It’s no secret that the childcare industry has been challenged lately with finding reliable, reputable teachers. When you tour, you’ll want to ask specifically to meet the teacher who will be watching your child if you join. You can observe how they act in the classroom, and you can note aspects like caregiver-to-child ratio (the lower, the better) and how much personalized attention each child is receiving. Most of all, you can visualize your child in that room, and ask yourself if it seems like a good environment and if they would be happy.

Penguin Crossing Academy has tenured, credentialed teachers that are passionate about early childhood education, including some that have been with us 5+ years! Our teachers truly love what they do. Contact Us and we’ll be happy to show you around.

3) Holistic Child Development

Like most things in life, there can be too much of an otherwise good thing. A childcare center that stands out among the others won’t focus purely on academic achievements. These are babies and toddlers after all, and school doesn’t start for another few years! Instead, these daycares will be careful to offer the right blend of academics and holistic development. What is holistic development? Things like physical activities, sensory play, outdoor actitivies, field trips, creative arts, or opportunites to explore new interests and talents. Exceptional daycares keep your child excitedly guessing at the day’s activities by always bringing in something new and unexpected. Many times these can be centered around the holidays!

For example, at Penguin Crossing, we are having a special Thanksgiving Meal, with the opportunity for these littles to try new and different foods, like pumpkin pie! Be sure and schedule a tour to check out what we’re cooking up for the next holiday!

4) Clean, Modern and Safe Facilities

The physical environment of a daycare is a big factor in how well it stands out. The best daycares re-invest in state-of-the-art facilities and resources that enhance the learning experience. When you tour, you can watch for things like: How spacious are the play areas? Do the toys look relatively new? How clean are all the surfaces? Is there anything that jumps out to you as risky or unsafe?

Penguin Crossing has been proudly serving the Lewis Center OH area since 2006, but we have just recently unveiled a new state of the art childcare facility, boasting a large outdoor playground! Check out some pictures of our facility, or Book a Tour and see for yourself!

5) Communicative & Transparent Parental Involvement

Effective communication with you, the parent, is one of the biggest indicators of a stand-out daycare. These centers will often use electronic communication platforms to send you daily photos of your child at play, your child’s lunch, or what they’re working on that afternoon. These apps will also often chart your child’s developmental progress in an easy to understand format. They will also encourage parental involvement in various take-home activities, started at daycare and primed for you to finish together at home, making you into a champ in your child’s eyes!

Perhaps the best evidence of Penguin Crossing’s excellence in this area is testimonials from parents themselves! Check out our testimonials page and hear parents in their own words share how we are “easy to talk to, and work with you and your family’s needs!”


We hope this has been a helpful guide to choosing a stand-out daycare. Childcare centers like these are characterized by a commitment to exceptional childcare, innovative education, holistic development, state-of-the-art facilities, and strong communication with parents. These elements all work in harmony to create an environment where your child can truly flourish and develop into well-rounded individuals, ready for their transition to school.

As you explore the many different options for childcare centers in Lewis City, we hope you’ll keep Penguin Crossing Academy in mind. Penguin Crossing Academy is a leading childcare center and preschool proudly serving the Lewis Center area in Columbus, Ohio since 2006. We are committed to providing the best quality childcare service, and holding fast to our commitment to offer a safe and loving environment. We have tenured, credentialed teachers that are passionate about early childhood education including some that have been with us 5+ years. We offer a phenomenal curriculum, supplemented with rich extracurricular activities, that make bringing your child(ren) to school easy and fun! Our location is bright, clean and state-of-the-art, with large outdoor playground. Schedule a Tour today, we would love to have your child be the newest member of our family!