Choosing childcare for your children can be a daunting process. They are your pride and joy; your world, and leaving them in the care of someone else for hours at a time while you work can be difficult. However, if you choose the right childcare, you can go knowing that your child is happy, well cared for and in safe hands. I have definitely found the right Nursery for Mads and she is so happy there – I’m glad we made the right choice.
But how do you choose the right one for your family? How do you know whether to go for a Kindergarten, family daycare or at home daycare? Here, we look at some tips to help you to make the right decision for your family.
How are the staff interacting with the children?
Pay attention to how the staff deals with the children when you visit a potential location. A caregiver should preferably be on the floor with the baby or child, playing and talking to them. To succeed in their early years, infants need close, caring, engaging relationships with adults. That’s why it’s important for kids’ first caregivers to be warm and attentive, and for infants and older babies to get plenty of one-on-one attention, including in group care.
How long have the caregivers been there and how long do they intend to stay?
Young children need consistent and predictable care. It helps them to form a secure bond with their caregivers which can help them to develop in confidence and thrive. Find out how long the current carers at the childcare facility you are looking at have been there and their typical staff turnover rate.
Ask to see their policies and procedures
Find out whether you have similar parenting philosophies on issues like punishment – do the caregivers use time-outs? Television? Food? Sleep? and so on. Ask a few questions about the sick-child policy and what the contingency plans are should the daycare center or at home provider not be able to provide care due to illness or other emergencies? By asking questions early on you have more information to work from and make a decision upon.
Trust your instinct
When something doesn’t feel quite right, every parent is aware of it. You might be turned off by a facility that everyone in town raves about, or you might have a dispute with a caregiver who comes highly recommended. If this occurs, keep looking. Babies deserve and flourish in caring, nurturing environments. Investigate other solutions if anything in your situation doesn’t feel right.
Don’t be afraid to change if it is not working out
If things are not working out for you or your child with a particular caregiver or center, do not be worried about pulling them out and changing. Sure, there may be contracts and agreements to navigate in terms of payment, but if you are not happy or something just does not click, find somewhere that is more in line with what you need. Yes, consistency is important, but if something doesn’t work, babies can adjust easily.