HomeChild Care10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Child Care Provider
Posted in Child Care on 1st January 2011

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Child Care Provider

1. It’s important to find a caregiver that is registered with your state’s childcare licensing agency. This registration garauntees that the provider has met your state’s local requirements, and that they have completed the necessary backgournd check. It is also advisable to contact the state to see if there have been any outstanding complaints filed against this particular provider.

2. Location should be a priority when determining a provider. Especially if the child care is to be provided every single day, convenience is an important factor to consider. That being said, it is not worthwhile to sacrifice convenience for quality, especially if the quality of your local provider is very low. It is important, however, that in the event of an emergency you are able to pick up your child as quickly as possible. It is recommended that you find a place that is about halfway between your work and your home.

3. Your provider should have taken the necessary precautions to childproof the location. They should also have in place contingency plans in the event of an emergency. These will include properly posted evacuation plans, fire alarms, etc. The childproofing in the building should also be sufficient for children of all ages.

4. It is important to consider the environment provided by the child care. These will include spaces for resting, areas for eating, areas for potty training, and areas that are assigned to age specific toys and safety.

5. Tests have shown that there is such a thing as overstimulating your child through too much noise or activity. These particularly affects infants and toddlers, and can be very unsettling for them as they try to ease into spending much of their day at a new location and without their parents. It’s important to observe whether or not you think the programs and the atmosphere will be nurturing to your child or detrimental to your child.

6. The size of the group and their respective age spans is another important factor. Be sure to inquire about these factors. Part of this is based on your own preference as a parent, such as how many different ages you would like your child to be exposed to, and how well it seems that the providers can care for each child.

7. Caregivers will have different philosophies on the development of children. It may not be necessary that their philosophy directly aligns with yours, but it is important that they are able to communicate well with your child and that their philosophy has the appearance of being functional and not just theoretical. It is important too to attempt to provide some consistency for your child.

8. Interviewing the provider should be a priority when looking for a provider. Begin by interviewing over the phone, and if the provider appears satisfactory, go one step further and meet with them in person. This is your child that you are entrusting to them, so be sure to ask as many questions as is necessary.

9. Make surethe provider has written policies and procedures for their business. These are important on a variety of levels, but on the most basic level, a knowledge of their hours and expectations needs to coincide with your schedule.

10. Using your instincts should not be overlooked. It is to your benefit that you feel comfortable with the provider, because it will enable you to have peace of mind while your child is not in your care.

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