Tag Archive | "child care providers"

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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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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