Choosing the Right Daycare

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Once you’ve made the decision to return to work after your baby has been born, it’s time to start searching for a daycare center. This can be an emotional time for you, and sometimes overwhelming especially if there are numerous daycare centers to choose from.
Here are a few tips you can use to help you choose a daycare provider that’s right for you and your child:
  • The first step is to get a list of daycare centers in your area. Check your local yellow pages, online, or get some recommendations from other parents.
  • Find out of there are any openings available for you to enroll your child.
  • Are there any age restrictions?
  • Write down the locations and hours of operation for each daycare center on your list.
  • What is the cost to enroll your child?
  • How many other children are currently attending and what are their ages?
  • Are healthy meals and snacks supplied by the daycare center?
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few daycare centers, it’s time to ask some important questions to ensure that you’re choosing the right daycare for your child. Here are some questions to keep in mind when visiting or speaking with each daycare center.
  • Is it clean and safe for your child?
  • What is the ratio of caregivers to children?
  • Are the children at the daycare actively engaged in activities and do they seem happy and well taken care of?
  • Are there plenty of educational toys and activities for the children?
  • Are the caregivers warm and friendly? How do they interact with the children?
  • Ask the daycare administrator for some background information on the staff, especially regarding licenses or degrees.
  • Ensure that the daycare staff have received the proper training and have good credentials and experience.
  • Are there safety exits in case of a fire or other emergency?
Once you’re satisfied that you have the answers to these questions, you should be able to determine which daycare center is the best choice for your child. The closest daycare may not always be the best, and the most inexpensive option may not always be the best either.
You’ll know what’s best for your child, and which daycare center will be the most suitable environment for him to be in while you’re working.