Choosing a Daycare – A Helpful Guide

When we decided to add to our two-some one of the things we discussed at length was daycare.

How we would afford the high cost was one of our biggest concerns.

But once we held our daughter we were more concerned with her safety and who we left her with rather than how much it would cost us.

However; we don’t have the kind of financially security where money is no object.

We struggled with how far we were willing to drive once we found a great centre, the different kinds of daycare centre’s there were to choose from, we worried about her newly discovered allergies, and leaving her all day with a stranger.

Leaving your child with someone other than yourself can be difficult, especially as a first time parent, and it took several visits and lots of time for us to figure out the answers to our many questions.

Here are some things to consider during your search for the right daycare:

1. Are you looking for a private or registered centre?
Would you like your child to participate in activities that generally mirror those of a big centre, with other children attending in a home environment or, in a centre that offers a classroom setting with developmental activities, staff ratios, and registered educators?

2. How much can you afford?
Daycare is expensive. Centre’s can charge anywhere from $35/day to $60/day depending on location, size, and country. Home daycare’s are often less expensive ranging from $20/day to $35/day.
If you are interested in a centre or registered daycare consider speaking with your community regarding subsidy based on your income.

3. Distance you’ll travel?
A good price and a great daycare is hard to find but driving too far to get there means more money in gas, car maintenance, and more time away from family.

4. What about Allergies?
In Canada, registered daycare’s must be peanut free, and if your child has a milk or gluten allergy they will monitor you child’s meals to ensure they are free of allergens.
In the US daycare’s set their own policies and may be nut free by choice, send a note home to parents if a child with an allergy attends, or may turn away children if they are not comfortable with the amount of monitoring required due to the risk accompanied with the allergy.
Home daycare’s decide for themselves and many are nut free or allergen free due to their own children requiring that type of environment.

5. Children’s Safety.
Across the board this is the most important to consider when choosing your child’s daycare. Will they be safe? Who will be present with them during the day? Who will be visiting? How many adults and how many children? Will they go outside and is the centre or home close to a road?
All of these questions should be asked during your initial visit with the daycare provider. Watch for how the daycare provider(s) interact with the other children; with disturbances; mealtimes; nap times; and discipline. Ask about policies and procedures, who do you talk to if there is a problem, sick days, and planned vacations (both yours and the daycare providers).

Most importantly follow your instincts, as a parent they will be your greatest tool.

 

This post and the link included was sponsored.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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3 Responses to Choosing a Daycare – A Helpful Guide
  1. katery
    August 8, 2012 | 10:26 am

    great tips, it is a tough decision!

  2. Alexandra
    August 10, 2012 | 1:08 pm

    Wonderful points for typical situations. BUT I feel that if you did a play by play in depth how to on Day care and Allergy, it would be immensely helpful.

    Immensely. Stumble it, tweet it: there is someone out there shaking in their boots with the thought of their peanut or dairy or egg or any allergy child will be going to day care.

    you could help a lot of mamas, LeighAnn.

    • multitaskingmumma
      August 20, 2012 | 3:24 pm

      I haven’t forgotten about this.
      I’ve been going over and over and over all of the different ways I could present a post like this.
      I might email you for suggestions if that’s okay?

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