Like it has done to most parts of daily life, COVID-19 has complicated the already complex search for childcare. Additional concerns may include "what should my backup child care plan look like if my center closes?" or "is it safe to take my kid to child care?" For information on creating a child care backup plan, take a look at this article. For pandemic specific questions to ask your childcare provider, watch this video. These answers are important at this time, however, there remain many other aspects about choosing a daycare that are worth considering outside of the pandemic.
- Is the center licensed and/or what's the level of staff training in infant/toddler development?
- How is the staff's attitude toward children and toward your child specifically (i.e. responsiveness, respectfulness of your culture, discipline style, etc.)?
- What is the quality of the environment including cleanliness, size, openness, noise level, and ratio of adults to kids?
- Is it conveniently located?
- What does it cost?
- Are the reviews from other parents or your pediatrician about this daycare positive?
- Is there a waiting list?
- What's the parental involvement like at the daycare?
- Are there accommodations for special needs (from the caregiver and in the environment)?
Other tips for choosing the best childcare for your family:
- Make sure you can communicate comfortably with the provider (there will be differences of opinion and you want to be able to work out a solution)
- Trust your gut - you know what's best for your family
- Be open to change - you can change caregivers if you feel one isn't working out
After all is said and done, once you do find a provider make sure to do your part to make it a successful partnership. As you pick up your child on time and keep him home if he's sick you will make life easier for the staff and they'll be more likely to work with you in the future. You know how complicated it is to nurture children, so share your knowledge about your child to make your provider's job easier. The more they know about how your little one likes his mac and cheese or what helps him sleep, the better experience everyone will have.
While there is a lot to think about regarding childcare, you probably won't be able to find a provider without flaws, so look at your top priorities and trust that what you decide on will be right for your family at this stage of life.
To find care today, visit Care About Childcare.