No matter if you plan to go for in-home, family day care, or an actual child-care centre, there are several issues you should know about and insist that the provider offer or do for you and your child. Keep reading to learn how to make the decision to choose the best child care provider possible.
Babies and toddlers need predictable and consistent care. This allows them to develop a secure relationship with their caregivers. If you are thinking about going with a centre, ask how long the caregivers have been there and what the rate of turnover is. If you are looking to hire an in-home provider, ask if the person will make a one-year commitment.
2. Policy Check
Does the child care provider share the same parenting philosophies on issues like discipline, screen time, feeding, naps, drinks, and sleep? Ask about what symptoms would be present for a child be prevented from attending care. Does the caregiver have a back-up plan in case of illness? Asking these questions will save you frustration and unpleasant surprises later on.
3. Look Down
While at any potential site, see how staff members interact with the children in their care. Do they get down to the children’s level? Are they playing with the kids? Are they holding babies? You want your child to be welcomed into a loving, close, and interactive relationship with a warm, responsive adult with one-on-one time.
Until your child is old enough to talk and tell you about their day, you will have nothing but what the caregiver tells you. You have to be comfortable communicating with the provider. You should be able to talk about whether your child ate breakfast, how she slept last night, or if he’s teething. When you go to pick up at the end of the day, you should receive information like when he napped, if she seemed happy, and how many diapers he soiled.
5. Drop In and Watch
Referrals from other parents is always a good thing, but you should also go and look around at any place you are considering to ensure it meets your needs and requirements. Any environment where child care happens should be clean, free from hazards, and stocked with suitable toys and books.
Visit the locations at different times of the day to see how they go about a routine and how the staff interacts with the little ones. After you have chosen your location you might want to show up unannounced a few times to see how things are going.
6. Be Open to Changes
There’s no set-in-stone commitment for staying with a provider once you’ve chosen, so if things don’t work out, you can change. This can cause a disruption with your child’s routine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it if you feel that’s what is best for your son or daughter.
7. Trust Yourself
Most parents will know when something just feels “off” about a certain location or provider. Maybe you have a personality clash with a well-regarded babysitter, or you get a weird feeling about a child-care centre. If you experience this, move on. There’s nothing saying that you have to go with a raved-about daycare provider. Trust your gut and if something feels off, you are probably right.
No matter how many hours you work each day, you and you alone are your tot’s main caregiver, and are the most important person to him or her. With the right child care provider, your baby will have the opportunity to grow into a well-adjusted, healthy, and happy child.