Finding the right childcare option for your family can be a pain.
I remember the first time we had to find a daycare with our first baby. Nothing was good enough. I had the hardest time coming to grips with leaving my sweet, innocent baby with a complete stranger. The horror stories flooded in from friends. I felt completely helpless as I needed an option, since wearing my baby into the office wasn’t one.
It took almost 2 years of trying out various scenarios for us to find a solid solution. And now 6 years and 3 kids later — we are still using the same in-home care.
Here are 5 Helpful Tips for Finding a Daycare
1. Ask Around for Referrals
A friend’s recommendation is far more reliable than anything you’d find just googling around. Post a message on Facebook asking if anyone knows of what you are looking for.
2. Define Your Needs
Knowing your exact needs for childcare is a must. Figure out how much you can spend. What hours you need? What are your childcare must-haves?
3. Read the Childcare Rules and Policies Before Agreeing to Anything
Our childcare provider, as mentioned provides in-home care at her house. One thing that impressed us with her was the rules and policies she had in place. She runs childcare as her business. Knowing that she is serious and is up to date with the state’s childcare regulations comforts me in knowing that she has the kids’ safety in mind.
Last Summer we needed childcare for our then 7-year old because our regular sitter was full. The childcare we ended up at required that she be there at a certain time each day. I didn’t read the complete handbook. Whoops. Needless to say, that solution ended up working for only a few weeks.
4. Communication is Key
Make sure that whatever situation you end up with that the main person who is caring for your child and yourself have an open line of communication. You need to be able to explain and communicate your child’s needs and the childcare provider needs to be able to understand those.
I have heard countless times of friend’s not liking something about the childcare situation. Most of the time, they are minor — but important to the parent. When I ask, what did the childcare provider say, “oh it’s not that big of a deal.” If you are repeating it, it must be!
Create an open line of communication. I frequently get texts and emails from our sitter to anything that maybe needed. And I can do the same. This is especially helpful because frequently, I’ll have a question — then by the time I pick up my sweet boy and see his face – I forget! doh!
5. Always Have a Back-up
I would love to say that I have never once needed a back-up for childcare. That would be a big huge LIE! It never fails, several times a year — a kid gets sick or it just happens to be the 1 week our childcare provider is out on vacation when I need to be in a meeting.
Check out local drop-off childcare providers. While my experience for long-term care with these type of facilities hasn’t been great — for temporary occasional use, the drop-off model works wonders.
Read Danielle from Sway Group’s Childcare Secrets of Work at Home Moms
What Are Your Biggest Concerns When Trying to Find Childcare?