One of the most difficult things for new mothers is to find a daycare for their baby. It breaks their heart to have to leave them at just a couple of months old, but for many they don’t have any other option. Just recently a New York daycare went under fire when a 3-month-old baby died at a daycare. The center was unlicensed and when this happens, the childcare providers aren’t subject to required childcare basic training and background checks.
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Many times childcare could be very expensive and unfortunately many parents don’t do their proper research before choosing one. Many times parents choose location and convenience because it’s an easy choice to pick a childcare center close to your work or home. Sometimes you just can’t afford the daycare you want, so you’re forced to take your child to a daycare that is not your number one choice.
Where to Start?
Choosing a childcare provider for your child is no easy task. Most childcare providers have a website, so you can start by doing your research online. Make an appointment to visit the center, ask questions, and revisit the center just to make sure it’s your best option. If you don’t know where to start, you can contact the Childcare Aware of America and they can help identify local experts and they can refer you to a center that fits your needs.
Questions to Ask
- Is the childcare center licensed?
- Are they accredited by a national organization?
- Have there been any complaints or violations?
- Is there financial assistance? Requirements?
- What is the adult to child ratio?
- What are the caregiver qualifications?
- What educational benefits do they offer?
- Are the children supervised at all times, even when they’re sleeping?
- How are the children disciplined?
- Are caregivers trained to keep children healthy and safe from injury in case of an emergency?
You could never be too careful, so make sure you do your homework prior to making an informed decision. Visit them a couple of times and pay close attention to the caregivers and the way they handle things, the way they teach the children and interact with them. Take a look at the cleanliness of the space and if there is enough space and supervision at all times. Would this be an environment your child would be happy in while you’re away at work. If possible, talk to other parents that have their children at the daycare and see what they say, if they have any worries; ask about their experience and how long they’ve had their children there. Make sure you have all of your questions answered and that your child is in a safe and healthy environment.