I’m often asked for advice in choosing a child care or choosing a preschool. Here are some great resources about what to look for, and questions to ask. They also offer referrals to child cares in your area.
http://families.naeyc.org/ – The National Association for the Education of Young Children. They have great resources on choosing child care (see the infographic at the top of the post). I like that they divide off sections on quality care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, because although you’re looking for many of the same things, there are also differences in what counts as quality child care for a 3 month old and a 3 year old. They also have a directory to search for NAEYC accredited child care centers and preschools.
www.childcareaware.org: Child Care Aware of America. They have great articles on choosing child care, and also a state-by-state list of: agencies that do referrals, child care licensing regulations, inspection reports, resources for children with special needs, and more. A fabulous resource!
www.childcare.org: This is Child Care Resources, based in Washington state. They have lots of good info on making the choice, but some of their info (like about their referral line) is only relevant for Washington residents. They have an 18 page guide on Choosing a Nanny
For those who are using / will be using a family member to provide child care, here’s a couple good articles on setting clear expectations and resolving conflicts: Should you hire a family member for childcare, and When Family Members are your Child’s Caregiver.
I like how this article mentions how children should have opportunities to explore and play at daycare. My son is old enough that we can leave him at daycare. Since my wife is going to be working again, finding a daycare that allows my son opportunities to explore will be what I am looking for. http://www.starbrightearlylearningcenter.com/
As I was reading your article on choosing childcare, you write about Child Care Aware of America and how they have great articles on choosing daycare with a state-by-state list of agencies that do referrals. I was just offered a full-time job, and my three-year-old would need to be placed in daycare. Thank you for writing such a great article on choosing child care providers.
It was helpful when you explained that the Child Care Aware of America organization has information about inspection reports for potential care providers. My husband and I will need to find someone we can trust to watch our infant daughter so I can return to work at the start of next month. Thanks for sharing these resources we can use to research infant care providers in our area!
My daughter will be turning three next month, and this coincides with the new full-time job I will be starting as a corporate accountant. I need to find a child care center to take her to because I will be working full-time, and because this will be the first time I have ever been away from her, it needs to be a place I can trust. Thank you for sharing that I should make sure the teachers provide an environment where my daughter can play and explore new things.
This one is really informative. I found out some great resources about what to look for, and questions to ask on choosing child care.
Thanks for the tip to set clear expectations with those who provide child care for your kids. I want my kids to be taken care of properly. That being my way only.