When you have children, you don't always have the luxury of staying home with your children. There are many different things that can hinder a choice to stay home or to go back to work. Regardless of your situation you need to find reliable child care in your area. As someone who is not only a mother but someone who has worked in child care, I thought that I would give you some of my secrets and tips.
First you need to talk to your friends and neighbors. See who they recommend and use. Some people want their children to go to the same place as a friend, so they know someone or to carpool. Remember that location is important too. You don't want to have a extra long commute to pick up your children.
You also need to decide what kind of childcare you would like. Do you want a center where there are many kids with classrooms? Do you want a home daycare where your child will be in a home setting? Are you looking for someone to just play with the children or do you want something educational? I can tell you from experience that big centers are not always better.
Use your favorite search engine and search the heck out of the daycare. See if there is any issues that you may not know about. While you are searching, go to your state's website and look for the child care licensing website. You can usually find out if they have any citations for anything and what they were for.
Interview the provider and check out the place where your child will be taken care of. Look at how the children are being treated. How does the provider interact with the children? Do they look well cared for? Observe for a while, maybe try and talk to other parents of the children. Ask to see documentation of CPR and First Aid for all the employees. Make sure they are licensed. Ask to see the license. Check out the conditions of the daycare and see if they have fire evacuation routes and other safety precautions. Ask about meals and snacks provided, ask to see a weekly menu to see what is served.
Ask a million questions about their discipline methods. Ask about schedules, what happens when the caregiver is sick. How many children they care for, how long have they been in business. How much do they charge? What is their policy for part time, sick days? Make sure they have references too. Don't just take the references, make sure you actually call them and ask questions.
If it is a home daycare, search public records online to see what kind of history this person has. You can not be too careful when it comes to finding reliable child care for your children.
Trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling, keep looking. Don't chalk it up to being nervous about going back to work or school.
Check out several different centers. Just because you visit one and go through the interviews don't feel like you are obligated to go with the first one. There are many different choices out there.
Most of these tips will also help you find a babysitter you can trust too.