Choosing the right daycare

Some parents simply don’t have the luxury of staying home with their child, so often, day care seems to be the obvious option.

There is more than one option when it comes to child minding, some options are a nanny, private sitter, family day care, relatives and the list goes on…

All of the many options available are worth considering and will require some legwork on your behalf.

Their are two main questions you need to consider when you start on your child minding search, both equally important. They are, What will be the most economical and convenient? What are the needs and concerns of my child?

Remember also, that no single child minding option will fulfill every one of your needs, or the needs of your child.

But, here’s some things to consider…

  • The location, do they need to be close to your work or home?
  • How much is it going to cost and how much can you afford to pay?
  • Would you prefer a small or large group?
  • What age groups would your child be with?
  • How much one on one time will your child receive?

In most cases, the best way to figure out what the best option is, is by simply asking other parents, friends or relatives. Word of mouth is almost always the best form of referral, especially if you have a good relationship and highly esteem the person giving the advice.

If you are not in a position to get some personal advice from a friend, family member or colleague that has been gained from their own personal experience, then the next best thing is to interview your proposed carers. Some may disagree, but usually your gut instincts will tell you if something is not right, mothers especially have a sense for picking up on character flaws.

When interviewing your carers always ask for police clearance checks and referrals, as well as any testimonials that they may be able to share with you, remember it is your child’s welfare at stake here, so be diligent and thorough.

Don’t feel pressured into making a decision, take your time and trust your instincts. Even start searching for suitable carers whilst your still pregnant, if you know you will need to send your child to day care at some stage, start out on your search for a suitable carer early.

By taking the time to plan ahead you will be making a well informed and educated decision rather than having the added pressure of making a rushed decision. Some daycares will have a long waiting list, which is another reason to start your search early.

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