Parents spend $8,355 per child each year on childcare, making it essential to find the best childcare possible. Finding the best childcare depends on several things, including where you live.
As parents, you don't just want to find a childcare provider that costs less than the others. It's more about finding a provider that gives your child everything they need and cares for them the way you would.
We've created a brief guide to detail what you need to do to find a childcare provider near you. Should you hire a nanny? What about childcare at home?
Find the answers you've been looking for below.
Before we jump into finding the best childcare near you, we thought you needed to know your options. The first is childcare at home, better known as in-home childcare.
In-home childcare is a childcare program that takes place within the childcare provider's home. This type of care typically forms when a parent stays at home with their children and decides to open their home to other parents that need their services.
Before you opt for this form of childcare, take some time to research the requirements in your area. While some states require all childcare programs to have licensing, others do not.
Having a license or not doesn't mean a person isn't capable of caring for your child properly. The next type of childcare is group childcare.
This takes place within a facility, and you might find they service several different age groups. There will be more staff members dedicated to each age group, but it also becomes more expensive depending on where the facility is located.
Lastly, you could hire a nanny that will care for your children during the designated hours. The nanny might be responsible for picking your children up after school and shuffling them from activity to activity.
It depends on your specific needs. With that in mind, here's what to consider as you move forward with making your final childcare decision.
All childcare facilities are different, but they have the same goal: to provide a safe space for your child to continue growing and learning while interacting with other children their age. We recommend creating a list of the childcare service providers in your area.
You can gather this information by searching the internet or asking for referrals from other parents you might know. The best part of asking other parents which providers they recommend is that they'll have a deeper insight into the pros and cons of each facility.
Ensure you're ready with a list of questions about things like group sizes, care staff, and cost. These are all factors that will further influence the decision you make.
If you don't know any other parents, you can always check the only government source in your area. It will have a running list of approved childcare places to register your child to attend.
Would you give your child a bottle without checking to ensure the milk is at the right temperature? The answer is no, which means you shouldn't register your little one to attend a childcare facility without viewing it in person first.
By taking an in-person tour, you can observe the facility and make a note of things like:
When you're doing your tour, if there's something that doesn't sit right in your gut, chances are it's not the place for your child. Much like having a list of questions to ask the head of the facility, it's best if you have a mental checklist.
Ensure the facility is checking off each item on your checklist while you take your tour. After all, we only want the best for our children, including selecting the best childcare provider for them and their needs.
Depending on the type of childcare you select, the cost will differ. For example, if your child is attending a facility, there will be tuition and additional fees involved with paying the tuition.
In this case, you might want to ask about how parents can pay the childcare tuition and how often it needs to be paid. If you've hired a nanny for your child, it's essential to understand the pay average in your area and pay the nanny accordingly.
Another thing you might consider when it comes to cost is what's included in the cost. Depending on the number of hours your child will spend in childcare can determine the amount you end up paying.
Will your child be with the provider for half a day or a full day? During this time, is the provider expected to feed your child?
Are they expected to take your child from place to place?
Children need consistency in their lives because it provides and teaches them structure. Whomever the childcare provider is that you select, ensure they're committed to being there for your child and providing quality care.
If you choose to enter your child into a care facility, inquire about the length of time employees have been working in the facility. If you wish to go with an in-home provider or nanny, ensure they've committed to working for a specific time period.
The last thing you want is to find yourself in a bind with no one to watch your child.
From the different types of childcare to how you can go about finding the best childcare, there are several factors to consider. Do you want a nanny, and have you taken the time to search the internet or talk to other parents for their references?
If the only way to find the right provider is online, use Find a Daycare now. We've created a space where parents can click, discover, and connect with the right childcare providers in their area.