Finding the right childcare for your little one can be stressful. How will you know if you’ve found a good fit? What can I expect my child to do while I’m away? These are all questions that go through a parent’s mind (and more!) when looking at daycares. The fact is, finding childcare can be a lot like going on job interviews, only you are the one asking the questions! And just like with an interview, things will go a whole lot smoother if you are well prepared. Below, we’ll go over some things to ask the childcare providers you interview.
This is something you want to ask fairly early on in the process. It can be a major disappointment if you’ve found the daycare of your dreams, only to discover that it costs more than your mortgage to go there. Before you even ask about rates, have your budget in mind and do your research — it will help with the sticker shock. These are your babies, after all. In this conversation, you can also inquire as to how they take payments, if rates vary for different ages, and if you have to sign a contract.
It’s always important to ask what kind of licensing an establishment has. Anyone can say they watch children for a living, but a proper childcare center will have all the legalities in order and be accredited to care for children in the proper environment. This protects not only your child, but the establishment as well. You can even look at ratings from the Department of Child and Family Services, ask for state inspections, and inquire about any violations. Any credible daycare center will have this information.
This is one not all parents might think to ask about. There are different adult to child ratios for different age groups. Some of these may even be state mandated. For example, the younger the child, the smaller the ratio because babies need more hands-on attention. Whereas in toddler rooms, the number is a little higher, more like a small classroom.
It is always a good idea to ask what food, if any, the daycare will provide. Some provide only snacks, and the parents have to pack lunches for the kids. Some don’t provide any at all, and some provide everything! This is also a good time to ask about allergy protocol and go over your child’s allergies if they have any.
Wouldn’t you like to know what your child is learning every day? A great childcare center will have plans to teach your children, adjusted to their age level. For example, we at Breakie Bunch teach things like sign language (even in the infant room!) and Spanish. Asking about learning or lesson plans gives you a great idea of what your child will be experiencing each day and what you, as the parent, can expect. This is also where you can ask about policies and philosophies. Different schools have different methods of teaching and caring for your kids. It’s important to know what a daycare can offer you.
Communication is key! Make sure to ask how a childcare center will communicate with the parents. Are there emails or daily sheets filled out? Some places use an app to communicate and even upload pictures of the day. Technology has made things so much easier and helps give parents a little peace of mind. At least in terms of accessibility!
As a parent, you only want what is absolutely best for your child, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with having 50 questions for your potential childcare provider. We are the ones who will be caring for your children and helping to guide and teach them while you are at work. Being prepared to interview us is welcome and expected. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’re looking for the perfect daycare for your child, look no further. Set up a time to interview us here!