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Checklist to Help You Choose the Right Childcare Provider


Checklist to Help You Choose the Right Childcare Provider

When searching for the right childcare provider, the number of choices can be a bit overwhelming. Not only do you want to choose an individual or daycare that is safe and reliable, but you also want your child to be happy and comfortable in their care. To help you make this decision, we've compiled a childcare checklist. By going through these steps, you can ensure that you will find a nurturing and safe environment where your little one can thrive.

Key Points

  • Be sure to do your due diligence before choosing a center or childcare provider. Speak to friends and neighbors, who can offer insight.
  • Don't be afraid to request references or ask various questions to get an idea of the quality of care your child will be receiving.
  • Request daily reports from the provider to stay informed about your child's activities and well-being.

1. Ask neighbors and friends for recommended providers. They can offer valuable insights based on their personal experiences.

2. Call the State Department of Human Services in your state. They can provide you with a list of licensed and approved providers in your area.

3. Visit the daycare. Schedule visits to childcare centers in your area and pay attention to the environment — the location and inside the facility. Look for cleanliness, structure, organization, and how the children seem to respond to their caregivers.

4. Ask for references (at least 5). Contact the references to find out what their experience has been with the daycare. Speaking with others about their experience with the daycare will offer you valuable insight.

After Finding a Potential Childcare Provider:

1. Ask other parents at the center how they like the provider.

2. Observe the behavior of other children the provider cares for during various times of the day (take a day and visit with your child to see how your child reacts to the environment).

Once You Hire a Provider:

1. Arrange for your child to have as much interaction as possible with other children and providers (to help ensure proper care is being provided)

2. Leave the phone number(s) at which you can be reached and the address(es) you'll be located (make sure to include an emergency contact in case you can not be reached)

When You Pick Up Your Child From the Daycare:

1. Ask lots of questions to help determine if proper care has been provided and spot potential problems.

2. Ask for daily reports from your child (or the provider if your child is too young) to let you know how much your child ate, if they had a bowel movement, if they napped etc.

By going through these steps and following this checklist, you can put stress at bay and make an informed decision. The safety and well-being of your child is the most important factor when making this decision, so be sure you are completely comfortable with the center.

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