STEPS IN CHOOSING CHILD CARE
Finding a child care provider for your child can be a stressful experience. Our goal is to provide the guidance and information you need to make the best choice for you and your child. Here are a few steps that will help you through the process.
- List basic requirements that are important to you and your child. These might include the program’s proximity to your home or workplace, its hours, amount of outdoor space, and so on.
- Screen potential caregivers on the phone. Have a list of questions ready in advance (a list is included in our packet). For example: “What are your hours?” “How many children are in your program – – what ages?” “How many caregivers are on staff?” “Can you give me names of other parents I can speak to?” Find out if they meet your basic requirements. Then make appointments with those you would like to visit. During your visit, use a checklist (one is included in our packet) to evaluate the program. Visit programs more than once and at different times of the day.
- Check references. Talk to parents with children in the program.
- Take your child to visit your final choice(s).
- Trust your intuition and observations.
- Read the caregiver’s written policies and procedures carefully.
- Consider alternative plans / back up care for when your child is ill or the program is closed for holidays or vacation.
- Once you select a caregiver, work closely with the caregiver to make sure your child enjoys the best child care experience. Communicate frequently – ask about your child’s progress, what activities he/she enjoys, how well he/she gets along with others.
Information taken from http://www.childcare.org/Parents/how_to_choose.htm and Wells County Child Care Provider Network