Five Steps for Finding and Choosing Child Care
Finding the right care for your child requires an investment of time. You, as a consumer, have the right to gather as much information as you need to make an informed decision about what is best for your child.
These five steps will help you make an informed decision.
Develop a list of child care options. Contact Child Child Care Aware to receive a customized list of child care referrals. You can receive this list by doing an online search of our statewide database of child care providers or by calling 800-997-8515 to talk with a referral specialist who can answer questions, address your specific needs and offer alternative solutions if you are having problems finding care. The online search and the personalized assistance option are both free, no-fee services.
Conduct phone interviews. Call potential child care providers to determine if you want to schedule an on-site interview and tour. Vacancies in quality programs fill quickly, so it is important to contact potential providers as soon as you hear about an opening. Review this Child Care Checklist for a list of questions to ask during the interview.
Do on-site visits. You may want to do several visits at different times of day, such as naptime, mealtime, or during activities, to get a complete picture of a program’s daily routine. Use the Child Care Aware Child Care Checklist for guidance on what to look for and questions to ask during your visits.
Check references. Ask potential providers for names of families who have or are using their services. When you call the provider’s references, give your name and explain that you received their name as a reference from the caregiver. Use the Child Care Aware Child Care Checklist for a list of questions to ask when interviewing references.
Make your decision. Ask yourself:
– How do I feel about the program?
– Is this a pleasant place?
– Do the people seem to care about my child and me as individuals?
– Would I feel comfortable leaving my child there each day?
– Do I trust the caregiver to provide for my child while I am absent?
When you decide to enroll your child , request a two-to-four week trial period to ensure that the situation is working well for you, for the caregiver, and most importantly, for your child.