No matter what type of childcare you need for your baby or child, you need to find a place where you and your child feels comfortable. Here are some basic questions to ask any care provider (day care, nanny or babysitter) before you enroll your child:
- When is your next opening?
You might be surprised to find that the day care or childcare provider you want simply isn't available when you are available. Ask about waiting lists.
- What are your hours?
Do they work for your needs? Will it leave you scrambling to get to baby from work? Which holidays do they take off?
- Where are they located?
Close to work or close to home, a case can be made for each. Factor in all of the variables like traffic, costs, care providers, how often do you anticipate seeing your child during the day, etc.
- What age ranges do you take?
Are they able to accept newborns from six weeks? And will the younger babies be cared for separately from older babies and toddlers?
- Back up plan.
What happens if the care provider is ill. This does work differently in a larger day care setting as opposed to a home child care or a nanny. Also find out about your child's illnesses and how they are handled.
- Any flexibility?
How will they handle flex time at work, part time hours and vacations? Some centers you pay for your vacation time to hold your spot, while others waive this after a certain period of time.
- Overall Philosophy
How do they say they feel about your child's care? Do they have a mission statement? Do you see teachers and children in interactions you'd want your child to be involved in when you visit?
- Staff Training
What type of training does the staff have? Do they take a course in first aid or CPR?