Generally, in a dual-income household, parents must choose to return to work at some point. Therefore, increasingly, child care centers are becoming an essential part of a child's development and are intrinsic to many families in raising a child.
The following are some tips that will help you narrow down your exploration of child care. If it is a priority, it is also a choice that must be made carefully.
Where to look
Start by trying to collect references from other parents in your neighborhood. This works both to find some good centers or daycares in your area, and to eliminate options. Another place to look is the Child Care Resource and Referral Center, which is an organization that helps parents choose what is best for their child care needs and includes a list of some of the best childcare centres in your area.
Gather relevant information about the centers before visiting them. This includes exploring whether or not the centers are properly licensed by the state and what information the state has about the center.
For example: what is the relationship between employees and children? Is this center accredited? What is the employee turnover rate? What are the security procedures?
Read the contract
Discuss anything that worries you or seems to be missing.
Observe the children
This is an excellent indicator of the quality of child care. Do the children show respect to the caregiver? Are they generally happy? What is a typical schedule for children?