If you are looking to enroll your child or children in daycare for the first time, you may not be sure how to go about researching and finding the right childcare center for your family.
We have compiled a list of steps to take to help you begin your process!
Do Your Research
Before you call any childcare centers, make sure you do some research on centers local to you. Check out Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and ask other parents you know if they have a childcare center that they would recommend.
Factor in things like how far the center is from your home or workplace and what your ideal childcare budget would be.
Researching the kind of childcare philosophy that is important to you is another great step to take before you call anyone. Maybe you want there to be a spiritual element to the childcare center you choose, or a very structured educational setup, or a crunchy, less-structure-more-free-play type of place for your child. Doing all of this research on the front end can help you narrow down the daycare centers that you end up calling for interviews.
Take Tours of the Daycares You Are Interested In
Once you have done your research and narrowed down your choices, you can call the daycare centers on your list and ask them some questions. If you are happy with the responses you get, your next step would be to schedule a tour of the daycare.
This gives you an opportunity to see the daily goings-on of the childcare center before ever enrolling your child and will give you an even clearer picture of each center so you can make the right decision for your child.
Ask For References & Their Accreditation
Every state has individual requirements for childcare centers when it comes to licensing and accreditation. Always ask to see a daycare provider’s accreditation—this will give you even more peace of mind knowing that they passed special requirements that ensure they are providing excellent care for the children in their daycare center.
You can view your state’s specific childcare licensing requirements at the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.
Following these steps will give you the confidence to choose the right daycare center for your child!