Choosing a Day Care Provider

Choosing the Best Child Care for Your Child

Choosing a day care provider for your child can be a nerve-racking experience.  For many parents, it’s difficult entrusting a child’s well-being into a stranger’s care, as a child is the most important person in a parent’s life.  When your child begins day care, be prepared to feel nervous and even experience some separation anxiety, but all of these feelings are natural and will fade once you have found suitable child care.  As a parent, you have the right to thoroughly check out all of the potential child care facilities before you make a permanent decision.  The more you know about your child’s day care, the better you will feel about leaving him in the care of someone else.

What to Look for in Quality Child Care

According to the a Guide for First Time Parents, here are some helpful tips in finding suitable and safe child care for your child.  Before you venture out and visit day care facilities, you may want to ask yourself the following questions and follow these steps:s

What is important?
Depending on your child care needs and expectations, there will be aspects that you will find are more important to you than others in your search for a day care. You need to prioritize your list and decide which ones are the most important, such as location, size, whether or not the facility is licensed or accredited or has been recognized for outstanding care.  It all depends on what is most important to you and the care of your child.

Research all centers

Once you have your list then you can start asking fellow parents, friends and family members, if they can recommend one facility over another. Look in the phone book, on the internet, and search for ratings or reviews.

Ask questions

Once you have created a list of possible day care options, the most important step is to ask questions.  The more you ask, the more informed of a decision you can make.  After speaking with someone, you can get a pretty good impression from them.  Go with your instincts; if you aren’t “wowed” or even impressed with the people who run the facility or after a brief conversation on the phone, move on down the list.  Take notes of the questions you ask, especially if you interview or converse with many facilities.  Depending on your needs, expectations, and values, you know what kind of questions you need to ask.

Narrow Down Your Choices

Once you have collected all of the answers to your initial questions, you should have a good idea of your “final picks”.  Make appointments to visit the facilities, if you haven’t already, and make sure you receive a thorough tour.  If you get the feeling that you are being restricted from certain areas or feel like your not seeing the “whole picture”, it’s a good idea to eliminate that facility from your list.  Remember, go with your gut instincts.  Don’t forget to check the references of your potential day care picks.

• Make a visit

One of the best ways to choose a the right day care provider is taking your child with you for a visit.  Observe your child’s behavior and the interactions between your child and the day care workers.  Are they engaging?  Does your child seem happy or comfortable?    Remember, your child may be hesitant to engage with children or adults that he doesn’t know, so don’t solely basis your decision on your child’s initial reaction.  Your decision should be made on the information you collected and your overall impression.

A Well-Run Day Care Produces Thriving Children

The day care provider that you choose should reflect and support your values and expectations.  A quality day care should be well-suited to your child, regardless of his age.  He should be happy, safe, and thrive in his “home” away from home.

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