For parents, we know the idea of leaving your baby in someone else’s care can be agonizing. Regardless of whether you’re considering a relative, a nanny or a daycare center, it’s only natural for parents to be anxious about someone else taking care of their child. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Statistics show that more mothers than ever are returning to work after having a child. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center more than 70% of all moms in the US work outside the house.
This is where daycares can help. Not only can daycare centers offer exceptional care with licensed caregivers, they can also provide an environment with other children that will help your young one develop valuable social skills. Though not every daycare is necessarily right for every child and parent. That’s why we’re happy to provide a collection of tips and factors to consider for any parent trying to decide which daycare may best cater to their needs.
The first step to choosing a daycare is deciding which style of daycare you prefer for your child: group daycare or home daycare. Group daycares are state-licensed centers that are typically similar to a school environment. They offer trained and licensed staffs. Scheduling can be inflexible at times (including during holidays), which may be inconvenient for some families.
Home daycares are run out of the provider’s home, often as the provider cares for his or her own children at the same time. There are normally fewer kids at a home daycare and some parents prefer the more hands-on approach. There is also less exposure to potential illness due to smaller group size. On the downside, it’s important to be aware that many home daycare providers are not formally trained or state-licensed.
There is no right or wrong answer here, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Once you’ve made that determination, here are a few vital steps all parents should take before settling on a daycare center for their child:
Do Your Research
- This includes checking references and word-of-mouth from other parents.
Interview Your Choices
- Make sure to ask questions to confirm that the daycare’s cost, group size and philosophy (in regards to discipline, feeding, immunizations, education, etc…) are concurrent with your expectations.
- Group centers that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) adhere to higher standards. The same goes for home centers accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care.
Check it out in person
- Drop by unannounced to get a feel for what a normal day is like at the center.
Once you’ve selected your daycare, they will serve as your partner in caring for your child. It’s up to you to stay involved and participate in the daycare experience when you can. Regular visits and participation in events at your child’s daycare can help reinforce that you are heavily invested in your child’s learning and daycare experience. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact Children’s Wellness Center today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more childcare tips and updates.