Are you a working parent or in need of a few hours to yourself during the day? If so, you might be considering daycare and then googling “looking for the best daycare“?
As a parent who has had both of my children in daycare since they were 11 weeks old, here are some key factors to consider:
- Location: Choose a daycare that is conveniently located, whether it’s near your home or workplace. Long commutes to and from daycare can be exhausting for both you and your child.
- Tour: Take a tour of the facility. Visit unannounced to see how the daycare operates when they aren’t expecting you.
- Price: Daycare can be expensive, but it’s worth every penny if you need it. Make sure the cost is within your budget and find out what is included in the fees. Will you need to bring your own diapers, or do they provide them?
- Security: Ensure that the daycare is secure and that you feel comfortable with the level of security offered. Look for key code entry systems, cameras, and front office checkpoints.
- Reviews: Get feedback from other parents in mom groups on Facebook or other platforms. They will often be candid about their experiences.
- Kid:Teacher Ratio: This is regulated by state laws, but some daycares intentionally keep their ratios lower to provide more attention to the children.
- Instructional Method: If you have specific preferences about instructional methods, such as religious or non-religious, make sure they align with the daycare’s program.
- Communication: Determine how the daycare communicates with parents, whether through an app, email, or website, and ensure that you are receiving all necessary communications.
- Food: Find out how the daycare handles bottles, meals, and snacks, and what their policies are. Some daycares may only allow plastic bottles, for example.
- Schedule: Understand the daily schedule and whether it varies by room or age. Consistency can be beneficial for children, so consider following the daycare’s schedule at home on weekends.
- Vacation Policy: Determine the vacation policy. Such as, whether you must provide advance notice and whether tuition fees are prorated for time missed.
- Flexibility: If your child has specific needs or requires accommodations, ensure that the daycare is willing and able to support them.
Ultimately, trust your instincts when looking for the best daycare for your child. They will be spending a lot of time there; it’s important to find a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment where they can learn and grow. I have been fortunate to find such a place for my children. They have thrived under the care of their teachers and made many new friends.