Working parents in most Nigerian cities cannot afford to stay off work and take personal care of their toddlers.

For some who do not have help, the child is ripe for a creche the moment the woman’s maternity leave is over.

The maximum period in Lagos State, Nigeria's commercial city, is 6 months.

Working to ensure that bills are paid require that parents take some drastic decisions when it comes to seeking external care for their defenseless baby.

When it is necessary to put a child in a creche, parents should consider a few things that can help ensure the child is safe.

Children have very delicate immune systems and having a child in a creche will expose the child to certain dangers including health hazards. 

1.   Healthy Environment

Parents should take time to look at the creche’s toilet facility, dining and playing areas. The water source in the creche should be checked. You might thinking giving your child water in a bottle should suffice but that is not usually the case.

How clean the environment is has a lot to say about how hygienic your child's clean utensil will be maintained.

2.   Feeding

Ensure that the creche has a good kitchen or other facilities where children's food are prepared. This is necessary even though parents provide food for their children.

Being with other children, a child could collect food from his/her peers and you never can tell if the food is contaminated.

3.   Nutrition

The nutrition of your child should be one concern and giving them good food to take to school will go a long way to help build their immune system.

Instead of giving the child a flavoured and sweetened drink, blend fruits for the child and add a few drops of honey in it. That will help give the child some nutrients needed to guard against infections.

day care or creche

4.   Assess Care Givers and Teachers

First thing you have to check is the number of caregivers or teachers that are available to take care of the children.

In places where regulations are upheld, legislation may mandate staffing ratios of; 6 weeks to 12 months, 1:4; 12 months to 18 months, 1:5; 18 months to 24 months, 1:9 and even higher when the child is older.

This can serve as a guide.

Also take time to assess the character of the caregivers or teachers to be sure you are putting your child in the hands of someone that can handle their diaper right and be patient enough with your toddler.

Temperamental persons should not take care of a child. You can try a few things to know how they are. Ask them questions that can get on their nerves and watch their reaction.

toys for children in day care or creche

Try and find out if the teachers are knowledgeable enough because some incompetent teachers have contributed immensely to why Nigerians lack good understanding of Maths.

Be sure your child will be taught what he should learn at his/her age.

5.   Creche’s Nearness To Hospital

It is nice to ask or look around for a hospital around the creche and when you do, try and visit the hospital to be sure there is a padeatrician.

It is necessary to have a hospital or clinic near the creche in case of emergency. No one prays for such but should it happen, it will provide immediate and proper care for the child. The creche should also have a first aid kit and at least one trained nurse.

6.   Adequate Security

Considering the fact that cases of kidnapping are on the rise nationwide; it would be wise to know which security firm the creche is signed up to.

Are there CCTV cameras in all the class rooms and around the entrance and exit gates?

What is the system adopted in dropping and picking children at resumption and closing times?

Who is the head of the security unit?

How close is the nearest police station?