The 5 Things Every Parent Must Do Before Signing a Child Up for Daycare
When you decide to go back to work, it can be stressful to figure out what to do with your baby. While they are still so young, you may worry about your baby’s well-being at a daycare center, but rest assured, most of these places know what they’re doing. To find the best child care center, this is what you need to do:
- Do your research. Ask your friends or coworkers where they send their children to daycare, or even ask for a recommendation from your child’s pediatrician or preschools in the area. If you attend a mommy-and-me or other parental support class, ask the other attendees. There are child care centers that specialize in infant day care, so it’d be wise to search or ask about those, but any accredited institution should be capable of caring your your little one.
Conduct interviews. Screen potential childcare providers over the phone. Ask them some simple questions: What are their hours? Where are they located? How many children do they service?
If you don’t like what you hear, or if the staff doesn’t rub you the right way, scratch them off the list and move on. Even with a solid recommendation, there’s no need to dwell on a service that you don’t feel good about.
- Visit the center in person. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, set up a meeting. Evaluate the space, listen to the staff, and observe how the other kids are acting. If you like them, make a note. If you don’t feel comfortable there, your baby probably won’t either.
- Check their references. Call current and former clients to see how they or their child liked the place. Letters of recommendation that the center provides you are likely to be glowing, and can be easily edited or forged. If you do accept a letter, make sure that you call the person to verify their statements.
- Drop by without warning. One visit usually isn’t enough, so the next time you come by, don’t call ahead. By doing do you with get a true picture of what goes on their daily, instead of when they have guests and are trying to make a good impression. Before you make your final choice, consider stopping by unexpectedly on another day to get a truer picture of what the group daycare center is like when the staff hasn?t been prepped. If they do not allow unannounced visits, it’s best to cross them off the list.