Childcare – it’s a project trying to decide where your childcare will come from. Sure, sure, family and friends are usually the first choice since they know you and more importantly, you know them. But you can’t always be guaranteed to have available friends and family to watch your precious progeny, so what will you do?
If you decide a childcare center is the best option for you and your little one, it’s a great idea to talk to other moms you trust to get referrals and recommendations. You’ll want to decide which aspects of childcare are important to you. Is location, price, or activities important?
Price – To say that daycare pricing varies is putting it simply. The ranges in price are so extensive that you’ll have to do a little research. However, since there are usually many centers to choose from, you’re sure to find one that fits in your budget. Ask plenty of questions – sometimes even if you only need childcare for three work days, you may still be charged for an entire workweek. Not all daycare centers bill this way, so be sure to ask around and confirm in advance so there are no surprises.
Activities– Some childcare centers offer more than just a babysitting service. They focus more on educational childcare, although a well-rounded center will provide a mix of playtime and learning. How much can an infant really learn, you may ask? A lot! Your baby may learn sign language and also learn important social skills by being around other babies his/her age.
One-on-one time – With the needs of many families resulting in both parents working full-time, childcare centers have become pretty crowded, and yet the price hasn’t gone down – hmmm. One important thing to look for is the adult-to-child ratio. How many children will the caretaker be watching in addition to your little one? There are state standards for teacher-to-child ratios, but some daycares exceed the standard by guaranteeing smaller class sizes. This is something to ask about.
Location – After deciding what type of childcare center is right for you, consider the location. What is easier for you: close to home, close to work, or close to a family member? Who will be dropping off and picking up your child(ren)?
At first, it may be very difficult to let your little one stay in the care of others. After some time, however, your child may even get excited about getting ready for “school.” They’ll learn early to interact with other children and make some new friends. You might make some new friends too!
What is important to you when selecting childcare? Does your little one enjoy going to daycare now? Share with us how you decided on your daycare center.