There will come a time when you’ll have to find a care provider to take care of your child while you go back to work. There are many child care options available, and you should be able to find at least a few of them in your area.
These tips should help you search for the best child care center for your child, and make the right choice.
1. Consider different child care options
It’s possible for you to hire a nanny or a babysitter to take care of your child. Or you can decide to put your child into child care.
If you choose the second option, you will have the choice between group child care facilities, and home child care. Each option has benefits and inconvenients, so it’s up to you to figure out what you want for your child.
2. Make some research
Ask your friends and family if they have any child care facilities to recommend you, or go online to search for options in your area. It’s best if you can choose child care located close to your home, so you won’t have to travel to the other side of town everyday.
Make a list of the facilities that seem interesting to you.
3. Ask a few questions over the phone
Start by calling each child care center or care provider on your list to ask them a few questions. You’ll need to know about their fees and their schedules, but also about their qualifications and licenses.
You should also ask them if there is a waiting list, how many children will be taken care of by each care provider, and what they will eat daily.
4. Come for a visit
After you’re done with your phone calls, you should plan a visit of each child care center you did not cross off your list. During your visit, pay attention to the way the care providers interact with children.
The staff of a child care center should be playing and interacting with the children they are taking care of.
5. Pay attention to some important details
There are many other things you should pay attention to while you visit a facility on your list. The facilities should be clean and safe. Babies should be kept in a different area than toddlers, and there should be age-appropriate toys and books for everyone.
Don’t hesitate to ask more questions to the staff you meet during your visit.
6. Make sure they share your parenting philosophies
Not everyone has the same parenting philosophies, but you should be sure to choose a child care facility where the staff shares yours.
Ask them what they do whenever a child needs to be disciplined, or when a baby cries all the time or refuses to eat. See if their answers please you.
7. Drop by for an unexpected visit
If you’re hesitating between two or three options, drop by for a visit before making your final choice. Don’t warn the staff you are coming, so you’ll have a chance to see how they act when they don’t expect a parent to visit.
This second visit should help you choose the right child care option for your child.
8. Trust your instincts
If all your options seem equally good, simply trust your instincts. Maybe you like one place more than the others, even if you can’t explain why. And if you feel that something is wrong with one place, avoid it.
Trusting your instincs will surely allow you to make the right choice and choose the best child care facilities for your child.