When a couple decides to have a child, decisions must be made above and beyond potential names. Who will be the child’s doctor? Where will the child attend school? What activities should the child try out? Baseball, soccer, or maybe playing the violin? All are matters eventually factored in the child’s life. But usually the initial, and the most important, decision that must be made is who will care for the child after he or she is born.
If one parent is able and willing to devote years to raising the child, then the decision is an easy one. Another simple viable option, if both parents must work, is enlisting a close, trusted relative like a grandparent or sibling to care for the child. In today’s society, however, these options are often not available. In this current economy, both parents usually work to support the household, and, due to today’s increased mobility, parents often live miles and miles away from immediate relatives. Parents, then, must turn to other options for childcare.
Do they wish to find a live-in nanny that will watch the child in his or her own home, or is a formal or privately owned daycare the best option? Choosing childcare is a daunting task, and parents must be very prudent, thorough and unhurried when making the decision that is best for their circumstances. Here are some tips to read before choosing a childcare provider:
Research Options Before or During Pregnancy – If parents research their options early, then a hasty decision can be avoided. Compare your options, investigate local daycare centers, and obtain recommendations from friends, family, doctors, referral agencies, and nanny or au pair services. And make sure that the daycare, referral agencies, or nanny services are accredited and properly licensed. A good place to begin your research is Childcare.gov, an official U.S. government child care source that presents solid information to parents.
Ask Questions and Investigate – After parents narrow down their options, they should talk extensively with the potential providers. Everything may look good on paper, but parents must discuss their needs and their standards with the provider in person to insure that these needs can be upheld. Learn about childcare laws pertaining to your area. Ask potential providers many, many questions: How many years of experience do they have? What is the ratio of children to adults in his or her facility? What type of training, background, and education does the caregiver have? Will other adults be around the child? What are the caregiver’s rules and how are they enforced? Also, critique the daycare center or individual caregiver’s home. Make sure the space is clean and appropriately safe for all the children in attendance. Remember, there are many childcare providers, and it is perfectly reasonable not to pick a certain one because of a bad feeling or unsatisfied answers to any of your questions. It is also perfectly reasonable to request a background check from a daycare provider and any adults that will interact with your child. Any provider who refuses that request should be viewed with suspicion.
Be Involved – Parents should stay involved with their chosen daycare provider, speaking with then regularly, visiting with them when they drop off or pick up their children, asking questions, and learning about problems should they arise in playgroup Singapore. Parents should build relationships with all the individuals involved in the child’s daily care, to encourage open and continued communication.
Whatever childcare parents choose, it must be the most appropriate and comfortable for their situation. But no matter what the decision, following the aforementioned steps is one more step parents can take to ensure their child’s continued safety away from home.