Choosing the correct daycare is an important process. Whether you’re heading back to work, school or want to give your child a chance to socialize, trusting someone else with their safety is a huge deal. There are a few options to choose from such as an in-home provider or a learning center like KinderCare. As much as you might want to put it off and hang on to your baby as long as you can, start looking for your daycare options early. The process can take some time and you don’t want to feel rushed into making last-minute decisions. Finding the best place for your child to spend their day can be made a bit easier with some of the following steps.
Determine Your Criteria – This is a good time to make a list of what you want out of a daycare. Are location and price a factor? What kind of child/adult ratio are you comfortable with? Are there any specific activities you want your child to participate in? Does your child need any special accommodations? Daycare is meant to be a partnership between the establishment and the parents. Do they fit with your approach?
Reach Out to the Parents You Know – Talk to everybody. Reach out to family and friend, ask them where they send their children. They are a good source of information when it comes to the good, bad, and ugly.
Call Around – Make a phone call to the recommendations you received in the previous step. This gives you a chance to see if they fit your criteria as well as ask for important details such as their hours and fees. Make sure they are accredited! Take the opportunity to learn what activities they offer. Find out how experienced the staff is as well.
Visit Your Choices – Visit the choices you got a good vibe from while making the phone calls. You can do this with or without your child. Follow up with any questions you still need to be answered. Ask to sit in during an activity to see their teachers in action.
Stay Involved – Stay in contact with your daycare provider even after making your decision. Participate in activities and special events when you’re able such as parents’ day and especially your child’s birthday. Assist your child with transitioning back to school each year after their summer break.