Categorized | Childcare, Childcare Basics

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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