5 Tips For Choosing Child Care

image EJR Photography

 

Whether you are looking for a formal corporate child care center, faith-based child care center, family child care home, or private in home care.  There are some basic things you would need to know to help you with your search. With my experience as a child care business owner and Director, I have compiled a list of 6 tips to ensure you can make the best choice for your familyChildren’s healthy development is based on the positive experiences and interactions during their first 3 years.  Choosing quality child care is not an option and it is the most important choice made by a parent.
Fisher-Price Collection – Up to 40% off

  1.   Start Early– start looking as soon as you know you’re expecting because you may have to go on a waitlist. See the list of the types of child care options available to for you.
  2. Tour The Center(Scheduled & Unscheduled Visit)– Understanding that referrals from other parents, friends or trusted resources are great, however, you will need to review the center for yourself several times to assess it will meet your needs.  A few details you may want to review are cleanliness, safety(childproofed) and age appropriate toys including sturdy or soft books.  Does the center share the space with older and younger aged children, if so the toys with small parts should be kept away from younger babies? TIP-any toys that can fit in a paper towel roll is too small for child up to 2 years of ages(choking hazard).  Ideally, infants and babies should have their own area for toddlers.  Infant rooms should have an area dedicated to swings, bouncers and equal area for the floor(tummy time) for physical development.  I encourage you to visit each location several times on a different day to get a feel of how the staff interacts with children.  This will also allow you to get a feel for the centers routine for that age group.  Once your child is enrolled, you should consider dropping unannounced just to see how your child is adjusting.  You need to see the center on their best day and well as not so good days.  No one center is perfect, but you want to find the right one for your family’s need
  3. Policies Check – Ask for a parent handbook to review during your visit. You want to find out if the center shares your ideas in regard to discipline(time outs, scolding), feeding(a copy of menu), sleeping(nap time) and so forth.  For family child care homes or private in home care, ask whether there is a backup plan should the provider get too sick to work.  Please ask these questions now, so you won’t be surprised by these policies later
  4. Emergency Plan-Check whether the child care center has an emergency plan in place. This should include fire extinguishers, evacuation route(nearest exits clearly identified), health department inspections visible.  In addition, does the center maintain a first aid kit and please provide a contact number to make a call from the center during an emergency.
  5. Make an Informed Decision– Take some time to review the information you have gathered from each location with all concerned family members. Compare what you have learned and how you felt about each program and make the best choice for your family.

Stay Involved – Now it’s time to partner with your child’s caregiver. Here a few ways to stay involved  with the program:

  • Offer to volunteer
  • Have parent teacher meeting regularly and ask questions
  • Join in special events held at the child care center.

Visiting and participating in events at your child’s sends a caring message.  It tells your child and your child’s teacher that you think what your child doing and learning is important.

Please contact me for free child care checklist to use on your visits!
Tommee Tippee Bottles & More – Up to 50% Off

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

25 Comments

  1. I would also add: find out about their academic education. My youngest son had a daycare that was so good at teaching them site words and helping them get a great head start on school. I also think your gut instinct will help you get a feel if you will like the daycare.

    I never thought about volunteering, but what a great idea!

    • The curriculum is an important aspect of the decision in choosing a child care program as well. Parent volunteers are alway necessary and in our state volunteers have to be background checked as well thru the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry. Thank you so much for your comments.

  2. Touring the center is definitely important. I find that it’s best to make a scheduled appointment though, IF you want a REAL tour. Daycare centers are busy places and it’s not great to just spring in. Maybe, see the center scheduled first and if they are one of your top contenders you can just pop back in for an informal visit (like to “drop off paperwork, but while I’m here do you mind if my little one just takes a peek at the classroom real quick?” Also, you HAVE to meet the TEACHER!!! I’ve seen many centers where the teacher was gone or you never got to talk to the teacher. It’s soooo important to actually make contact with who will be your child’s teacher, just so you know they are friendly and mesh well with you.

    • Yes, establishing a relationship with the teacher is a must for a successful transition for child and family. As a former Child Development Center Director, I never scheduled visits. My potential client was free to come at their leisure. This helped to establish trust from the beginning and I held a quarterly parent meeting. Building a relationship with my parents and teachers becoming partners with parents were so important to the success of the program. The tour always included a tour of the outdoor playground and surrounding areas where children would take nature walks to enjoy God’s beauty. In addition, our babies were often strolled outside in the 6 passenger Bye-Bye buggy. I offer a detail visit checklist that include a lot more information. Thank you so much for your comments.

  3. Whenever I have my little ones, I will definitely be dropping in. I’m an educator so I know the importance of taking good care of someone else’s child. I’m already -extremely- protective of my students so I can only imagine what it will be like when I have my own.

  4. Wow I never thought to start looking as soon as I am expecting but that is a great tip! There are so many hoops you have to go through to get your child into school now it’s crazy!

    Love,
    Ivelisse | CarnationDreams.com

    • Ivelisse, many childcare centers, and family child care home will fill up fast, especially the quality ones. Also, Family Child Care Homes are a great option since many of them have their accreditation. I will be doing a more in-depth post on Family Child Care option later this month.

  5. Choosing a child care facility can be really challenging and sometimes nerve racking. It’s good to be prepared and truly take the extra time to research everything about the daycare and the workers there. A parent should never be afraid to ask questions, even after choosing the daycare. Great advice!

  6. I agree with your tip to review the child care center yourself to get a good assessment of it. I think there is a lot you can learn from those in-person visits about how the staff will be able to interact and communicate with your child. Since each child has different needs and a unique personality, you will be able to get a better idea during these visits on whether the center will be able to mesh well with your child.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*