Need to find daycare? Sending your child, especially your young child, to daycare can be a scary and intimidating decision. This decision is even more challenging if it is your first child and you are not familiar with the ins and outs of daycare. The majority of parents send their kids to some form of childcare or daycare, so there are many resources out there for parents2.
The good thing is, there are many studies showing the positive benefits of putting your child in high quality childcare3. In fact, there are studies that show positive benefits of putting your child in daycare at an early age.
We have outlined some important steps and questions to make the process easier for you.
Three Steps To Finding The Best Daycares Near You
1st Step: narrow it down by daycare cost, location, and reputation
Start your search by listing all the daycares near you. Do a google search for “find a daycare near me,” or near your work address, and you will get a map of the closest locations. This is your master list of daycares to start with.
- Ask friends, family, and co-workers where they send their kids and if they are happy.
- Drive around and see what daycares are located near you or where you work.
- Add these to your master list.
Next, figure out your budget and call for pricing information. Some daycares near you may offer financial assistance, so be sure to ask about that before you rule out a program due to cost. Consider what is included for that cost. I know that one daycare near me offers a lower rate initially, but a lot less is included in that rate that you then have to add back in (meal and snack fees, for instance, or before and after care). Mark those that are out of your budget off your list, or save them for later to visit to help with comparisons.
2nd Step: specific daycare information
After you have narrowed your selection down by cost, location, and reputation, do some online research:
- Are they a licensed daycare?
- Do they have any formal complaints filed against them?
- What services do they provide? Infant, Toddler, and Preschool? Do they have a Kindergarten program?
You can see if the daycare is licensed in Georgia by going to the Bright From The Start webpage. Bright From The Start also has inspection reports of childcare centers.
Step 3: schedule a tour
Now it is time to schedule a visit for your top three choices. Make sure you have time to sit down with the director in addition to touring the facility. It is important that you be proactive when visiting the facility. Come with questions in hand:
- What is the child/caregiver ratio?
- What type of degrees or certifications do caregivers hold, if any?
- How are children comforted when they are upset?
- What is the discipline policy?
- What type of toys and learning materials are available, and how often are they accessible?
- Does the daycare’s philosophy match my parenting philosophy?
Kids Health has a great article on questions you need to ask and things you need to look for when visiting a daycare.
This process can be overwhelming, so don’t feel bad if you are nervous about sending your child to daycare. The most important thing is that you find the best childcare for you and your family.
If you would like more information about Foundations For The Future Creative Child Care and School near Marietta, GA and Kennesaw, GA, please contact us by email at [email protected], via telephone at 770-429-4799, or on our website. You can also take a visual tour of our facility and even schedule tour with our Admission Director here.
1Wilson, Nitza. “Get Ready for Day Care.” Parents. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.
2″Choosing Childcare.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about Children’s Health. The Nemours Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.
3Rochman, Bonnie. “Day Care: Good Care Benefits Kids 30 Years Later.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2016.