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Steps To Choosing The Right Child Care For Your Toddler

There are plenty of options when it comes to child care providers. However, even if a wide selection is available, choosing the right child care is still a difficult decision. Why? Because parents are very meticulous in entrusting their children’s well-being into someone else’s hands. How do you find an excellent child care provider for your toddler? Follow this guide to help you pick the best child care for your precious one.

Step 1: Know What You Want

Knowing what you want is the first step to choosing the right child care for your toddler. The first step is to write a list of your “wants” in a child care provider. Making a list requires time and careful deliberation so see to it you do this together with your spouse. Ask yourself these questions:

•    Are you looking for a child care provider with years of experience, is trained and has credentials?
•    Do you want a caregiver who can stay with your toddler at home or would you rather have your toddler mingle with other children?
•    Are you looking for a child care provider with a flexible schedule?
•    Do you want a 1:1 caregiver-toddler relationship or would you rather entrust your toddler to a child care provider who cares for other children at the same time?

After you have made a list, go over it once again to ensure you did not miss out on anything.

Step 2: Consider How Much Are You Willing To Pay For The Caregiver’s Services

The second step to choosing the right child care for your little one is to figure out how much you are willing to pay for a caregiver’s services. Take a good look at your budget. Employing a babysitter, a nanny or putting your toddler in a daycare center is more expensive, but if you have the money, then these are your best options. If you are cash-strapped, then consider relative care and home daycare.

Step 3: Do Some Research

You need to do your homework if you want to find the best child care option for your toddler. You can do this by calling your local experts such as a Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency. They can give you child care recommendations in your area that can cater to your needs. Do not be shy to ask your relatives, friends, officemates and neighbours for referrals. This is the best way to know which child care providers are the best in your area. In addition, do not forget to check the yellow pages and search the internet for child care providers.

Step 4: Visit and Ask Questions

This step is the most important when it comes to choosing the right child care provider as this will help you narrow down your options. It is okay to talk to them on the phone but it would be better if you pay each child care provider a visit so you can make a detailed evaluation. Set an appointment with each provider, ask questions such as their experience, lifestyle, discipline style, child care perspectives, how they will react in case there is an emergency, etc. Talking to each prospect face to face also helps you assess whether the child care provider is competent and responsible of if the caregiver is inexperienced and impatient.

Step 5: Check The Child Care Provider’s Background

After your meeting with each child care provider, narrow down your options to two. Then, perform a background check for each caregiver. Contact previous employers and ask their experience with the said child care provider. Check the caregiver’s certifications, affiliations and police record. For daycare centers and home daycares, tour the establishment so you can see if the establishment is clean, safe, has a welcoming vibe and is spacious enough for children to thrive. Observe how the children relate with the staff, if the employees are capable in handling young children as well as the activities they offer.

Most importantly, after you have completed the steps above, sit down with your spouse once again and consider all the advantages and disadvantages of every child care provider. Go over your list and choose the option that comes close to your list. See? Finding the best child care provider for your toddler does not have to be very stressful after all. All it takes is a little planning and knowing what you want and do not want for your toddler.

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Foster Care – Is It Good For Toddlers?

A home is where children are supposed to feel loved and protected. But what happens when toddlers do not get these? Foster care is intended to help abandoned and abused children to find homes where they can be safe and nurtured.

What Foster Care Means

Adoption and foster care are two different things. In adoption, the couple who adopts become accountable for everything that concerns the child until the child grows up. Once every paper work has been settled, the child will have the couple’s last name. In foster care, a social worker is always present to check-up on the child. The child’s last name will not be changed and childcare is temporary.

Its Positive Effects to Toddlers

Resolves Family Issues

Most foster care institutions have psychological counseling to help toddlers understand things easier. Because of the counselings they get, they are able to come into terms with their past. Feelings are mended and broken hearts are slowly healed.

Proper Guidance Is Gained

It is not true that children in foster care are not well-taken care of. Most foster care institutions assure toddlers of a secure, loving and nurturing environment that is far different from what they are used to. Toddlers are given a chance to prosper at their own pace, be happy and resolve personal issues with the professional help they get.

Good Education Is Attained

Foster care allows children to go to school. There are bigger chances for toddlers to become a well-rounded individual with a bright future with the permanent fixture of a school, teachers, classmates, friends, lessons and extracurricular activities.

Its Negative Effects to Toddlers

Attachment Issues

Since foster care is temporary, toddlers become emotionally troubled whether or not they should build relationships especially since they tend to move around various foster families. This can lead to poor social interaction which can generally cause serious personality problems in the future. The uncertainty between the need to belong and the hesitation to feel emotionally attached is so strong that toddlers in foster care often become loners.

Vulnerability

Toddlers do not have any say in when and where they go. Hence, they feel helpless that they cannot mend their situation. Once they feel this weakness, they begin to develop the feeling of being unwanted which in turn often leads to depression, loneliness and rebellion.

High Risk to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

75% of children in a foster care have experienced physical and emotional abuse from their biological parents. Thus, there is a very big possibility that the shock and stress can lead to long-term trauma. Once psychological issues are not treated properly, toddlers can carry out their experiences and ultimately repeat them in the future.

Poor Self- Confidence

Children who are under the care of a foster care provider often feel very angry and rejected. The rejection they feel intensifies their sense of loss. Hence, the awkward feeling they get increases their lack of confidence and in order for them to cover-up their poor self-esteem, they can do two things – be too shy to mingle with their peers or become a bully to cover up their insecurities.

In a nutshell, foster care can either make children better or worse. There is no definite answer to this question as its effects fully depend on how a child copes up with this kind of childcare set-up.

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The Costs of Child Care

Looking for someone to care for your toddler is an excruciating job. Finding the right person to trust is even harder. You want only the best for your precious one and a child care provider can offer a secure, warm and fostering environment. And in this modern world where finances are tight, learning the costs of child care is imperative to help you plan for the extra expense.

Important Factors

Where You Live

Child care varies from city to city. Hence, your geographic location is the number one factor in determining the cost of child care. Rates are based on a certain city’s cost of living, the population, annual salary income, unemployment rate and modernism. States with the least expensive child care costs are Alabama, Idaho, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas. While states with very expensive child care costs are California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin.

A Toddler’s Age

Age is another consideration. Child care costs for babies from 0 to 11 months old are more affordable since lesser work is required in a child care provider. All the caregiver has to do is to feed, bathe, change the diapers and put the infant to sleep. For toddlers from ages 1 to 4 or for those in their preschool years, the cost of child care is higher. At this point, taking care of children is a bigger obligation since caregivers have to prepare meals, help with your toddler’s homework and stay up late to wait for you to come home. Plus, it is not an easy job to run after a hyper child and manage other household duties at the same time.

Operating Hours

Whether your little one’s child care provider is a stay in or a stay out caregiver, an establishment or a relative, the hours put into looking after your toddler is meticulously observed. Some child care providers may have a fixed salary while others may not. This depends on the agreed schedule of the parents and the provider.

The Type of Child Care Provider

Day Care Centers

The cost of a day care provider still depends on where you live and the quality of the day care center. In most cases, a day care center costs anywhere from $10 to $40 an hour. Since it is a professional center, you do not only pay for the caregivers’ services but you also pay for the day care’s operating cost and their reliability.

Typically, day care centers for infants and toddlers are very expensive since children at this age entail more hands-on care and one-on-one attention. Plus, a day care center accepts 25 to 30 children in a single class which requires more caregivers. The average child care rate in a day care ranges from $975 to $2,000 a month.

Day care centers for preschoolers are technically lower as toddlers are more self-sufficient. Child care costs are between $333 to $1,000 per month.

Home Day Care Centers

A home day care is located within the neighborhood so rates are more affordable. This child care provider is a smaller establishment than a day care so a maximum of 7 children are accepted and only 2 caregivers are employed. Average cost ranges from $300 per month. However, for a licensed home day care center, standard child care rates can go as high as $1,500 to $2,000 a month.

Relative Care

This type of caregiver is tricky as you do not want to offend your relative by paying her services. Basically, you do have to pay for relative care. But if she refuses to accept your payment, then cost of child care is free. In most cases, a relative is more willing to accept any token of appreciation. For example, gift certificates to her favorite boutique, salon or spa, movie or Broadway passes, grocery baskets or even a simple thank you card will do. Giving her a day off once a week is also good.

Nanny Care

Nanny care is the most expensive child care provider. Under the law of the U.S. government, a nanny is a legal employee and you are her employer. If she is a full-time nanny and lives with your family, a typical salary ranges from $400 to $700 a week. A part-time or stay out nanny’s salary averages between $350 to $650 per week. Aside from her monthly salary you have to pay for her taxes, health insurance, vacation leave, sick days and even open a bank account for financial aid.

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Childcare Basics Every Parent Needs to Know

Finding quality childcare for your little one can be a major parenting challenge. When you need to leave your toddler to go to work, it is essential to make sure that your child stays safe, secure and happy. It takes time to find the perfect childcare that meets your toddlers needs, demands and development. Thus, it is important to start looking as early as possible and educate yourself with the basics of toddler childcare.

Here are some childcare basics you must know to make sure your child gets the proper care and attention he needs to help him grow into a smart and healthy human being.

 On Finding The Right Childcare

The first childcare basic rule every parent must know is to select a childcare that is accessible within your area. Distance is always an issue for both parents and toddlers. Most child care experts advice that a toddler’s childcare must be close to the toddler’s house since having to spend too much time for transportation is not good for the toddler. It is best to contact your local authority Family Information Service (FIS) to help you get information about the different childcare providers in your area.

On The Things You Need to Consider

Having a checklist will come in handy when choosing a childcare provider. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • Is your toddler happy?
  • Are there sufficient indoor and outdoor activities planned that can help improve your toddler’s learning?
  • Is the place well ventilated, clean and child proof?
  • Are there enough staff to keep an eye on all children?
  • Can the provider manage your toddler’s behaviour accurately?
  • Is there an age appropriate transportation policy?
  • Are there separate spots for cleaning, playing and resting?
  • Does the provider know what to do and who to contact in case of emergency?

On Choosing The Best Childcare Provider

There are five types of childcare providers. The following are:

  • Babysitter and Nanny Care. 100% personal attention is given to your toddler. Your toddler gets to stay safe at home. However, social interaction is limited. The rate for this type of childcare is expensive since you have to settle legalities like paperwork and taxes.
  • Daycare Centers. Daycares, also known as playschools are more affordable than nanny care. These are licensed establishments who employ only trained professionals. This type of childcare allows your toddler to interact with other children. It prepares your toddler for early childhood education. However, the downside to daycare centers is that most of the staff care for more than one child. Complete care and attention is not fully given.
  • Home Daycare. A daycare center that provides a home-like environment erasing your toddler’s uneasiness. Since it is a small childcare provider, there are smaller groups of children, helping your toddler get all the nurturing he needs. The only disadvantage is that caregivers did not undergo professional training.
  • Relative Care. More personalized attention is provided but the parents and the relative’s childcare viewpoints may conflict.

When selecting for the type of childcare you want, it is best to ask other parents for references. Consider your toddler’s interests and personality. Also, you need to compare the rates, services, and schedules. Booking an appointment to conduct an interview and visiting the establishments are a must.

On Monitoring Your Toddler’s Childcare

Once you have successfully chosen the type of childcare you think best suits your toddler, give a clear and complete information about his likes and dislikes, health condition and other issues he may have. A few weeks after, it is best to talk to your toddler and his provider to find out how he is getting on and if he is happy and at ease. A toddler that is satisfied and secured, who learns new things and gains worthwhile experiences is the most basic childcare rule every parent must know.


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