What Should I Look for in Childcare Centers?

When you’re looking for childcare, the many options can feel overwhelming. When there are so many choices, it’s easy to be swayed by a good first impression, a professional website, or aesthetically-appealing classrooms instead of the truly important details like safety and meal plans. 

Five things that should be a top priority when looking for a daycare.


Daycares have many people passing in and out throughout the day. As a parent, you want to rest assured that only necessary adults are allowed in the building, such as other parents or guardians. 

Other important security features include:

  • Doors that automatically lock, keeping strangers out and children in
  • Specific drop-off and pick-up procedures
  • Security cameras of the whole building and parking lot
  • Background checked staff

Meal Plans

Most children enrolled in daycare eat breakfast, lunch, and a snack at the facility. That means that the daycare is responsible for 75% of your child’s food intake throughout the week. You want to make sure that the daycare is providing balanced and nutritional meals and snacks.

Ask to see the upcoming month’s food plan and/or previous food plan records. If your child has any special dietary needs, make sure that the facility is able to accommodate those needs and what measures are taken to avoid cross-contamination (if necessary).  

Security Cameras

Security cameras are vital to a daycare. Beyond justifying an innocent party or convicting a guilty one, security cameras can help determine the cause of injury if a child is hurt and keeps staff accountable for the facility’s policies. 

However, some daycares allow parents to view the security camera’s live footage to check in on their child. This can have many advantages and disadvantages, such as:


  • You can check in on your child at any time of the day
  • You can observe how your child interacts with the teacher and peers
  • You can see what your child is learning in real-time
  • You can hold teachers accountable to the facility’s policies


  • Live camera footage can increase parental anxiety if they see something happening to their child they don’t like. 
  • Live camera footage can be distracting to parents at their jobs or school and may be less productive
  • Parents may develop resentment against certain teachers or other children if they feel their child is being treated unfairly
  • Live camera footage is a potential breach of security because other parents have access to the footage, as well, and you have no control over what is done with that footage

Check with your daycare to see how security camera footage is stored and who has access to it. This is especially true for foster parents or guardians, as camera footage loose on the internet could potentially cause problems for the child. 


It may not seem like location matters until you’re running late or traffic is at a standstill. Then it’s really nice to have childcare that is conveniently located! 

Penguin Crossing Academy is conveniently located off Columbus Pike, right across from the Orange Branch Library.

Your Gut Feeling

As a parent, you get those gut feelings about what is best for your child. When you find the right daycare, you will know. Parental instincts are real, and you should trust them. 

At Penguin Crossing Academy, we’ve done our best to include every family so you can feel calm and reassured that your child is in a safe, stimulating environment.

Penguin Crossing Academy is proud to offer an outstanding curriculum that is educational, fun, and prepares your child for kindergarten per state educational standards.

If you’re looking to give your child a head start in school, contact Penguin Crossing Academy today!

What’s Next

Researching New Daycare Options