Studies have shown that 58% of working parents rely on some form of childcare. When a parent must go to work each day to provide financial stability for the family, they have no choice but to leave their children in the care of someone else. Not all families have the luxury of leaving their children with their spouse or another family member.
Most working families must rely on a childcare provider to watch over their children for them. This is a difficult decision for many parents because choosing the best childcare provider is something that takes time and is not always easy. How will you know if your child is in good hands?
Continue reading the guide below for several helpful tips on finding a trustworthy childcare provider. Here's everything you need to know.
One of the first things you can consider when choosing a childcare facility/provider for your child is availability. You want to find a childcare provider who can offer hours that are convenient for you. For example, if you need to be at work by a certain time each morning and must leave for work by a certain time, then you want to ensure the facility or provider is open/available and gives you enough time to drop your child off and head to work when needed.
You also want to make sure the facility is open late enough to give you time to get off work and pick up your child. Always be sure to go over hours and any late fees if you can't pick up your child on time.
Each childcare center will have a staff-to-child ratio. This ratio is determined by a few different factors. If the facility is accredited, then the center might have lower ratios due to meeting the accreditation's requirements.
Otherwise, the center will follow state laws for the type of center it is. Keep in mind that ratio requirements might differ depending on if it's a home daycare or an actual facility. Do your research to determine what the requirements are for your state.
Not all childcare providers need a license to legally and competently care for children. These laws/legal requirements may differ from county to county. You should first decide what type of childcare provider you want to bring your child to.
Are you interested in hiring a nanny? Would you rather find a daycare facility? Once you answer these questions, you can then research the legal requirements for the state and county you live in.
Does the provider have the proper license and insurance if required? If required, don't hesitate to ask the provider for proof of each.
Conducting some online research can help you find reviews for various childcare providers. Make sure to read through all of the reviews to get a good idea on what to expect from the facility or individual. You can then take it a step further and contact the provider you're interested in to ask for references.
If they're able to provide you with references, then call each one and ask any questions you have about the provider. Last, don't hesitate to speak with friends and family members about childcare providers they've used in the past and would recommend.
Some providers will offer snacks and meals to the children in their care. Other providers might require you to pack your child's meals and snacks. If you prefer to pack food for your child, then this might not be an important factor for you.
For other parents who might not have the time or resources to pack several meals and snacks every day for their child, this is a great benefit. Always ask the provider about these services. Many daycare centers or childcare facilities offer breakfast, lunch, and two snacks a day.
Where's the provider located? Is the location close to your home, work, or school? Having a provider nearby is ideal for convenience.
This saves you commute time by preventing you from having to go out of your way to pick up or drop off your child. It's also beneficial to know your child's nearby in case of any emergencies.
Finding daycare providers near you isn't the difficult part. Finding reputable, trustworthy providers who offer the services you need is where it gets tricky. Some services to consider are before and after school care, the curriculum being taught, VPK programs, and more!
Think about the services you might require and then ensure the provider you choose is able to offer those services.
As your search for the best childcare provider near you continues, you'll quickly learn that there are many great options to choose from. Once you start to narrow down your options to your top picks, you should then begin to schedule tours of each center or home daycare.
While touring the different facilities or interviewing nannies, don't forget to come prepared with a list of questions to ask. Use the information listed above to help you formulate some of those questions. Then, make a final decision based on your opinion of the provider after the tour/interview.
Any parent knows how important it is to find the best childcare provider for their child. Check the legal requirements, determine what's convenient for you, learn about the provider and childcare services offered, and form an educated decision after scheduling a tour or interview.
Do you need help getting started? Using a daycare location service like FindADaycare is an easy, stress-free way of finding multiple childcare providers near you.
Click here to find a daycare near you!