You’ve narrowed down a few child-care options you want to consider. What do you do next?
Whether you’re hiring a nanny or placing your child in a child-care center, it’s important to arrange for a visit and meet the child-care provider in person.
Ask for a schedule of the day’s activities and the center’s or caregiver’s policies.
Are there other children your child’s age?
How does the staff interact with the children?
Do they kneel down to play with your child, and talk to your child in caring, respectful ways?
Is there plenty of playtime and interesting activities for your child to participate in?
How clean and safe is the center?
Does the center have places for your child to have quiet time, nap time, read, build with blocks, do puzzles, and play outside?
Are the chairs, tables, sinks, playground equipment, and other items child-sized?
Are healthful foods and beverages provided throughout the day?
Do the children look positive and busily engaged in activities? Likewise, does the caregiver seem engaged with the children?
QUICK TIP: If you plan to keep your child in the same child care setting for an extended period of time (for example, from infancy through toddlerhood or beyond), think about how your infant fits in now and how that fit will be in the future as your child gets older.