When it comes to childcare, you want to find an individual or a facility that works well for your child, and for you. Price alone shouldn't be the determining factor in choosing such a person or childcare centre, as it can be worth a steeper cost for childcare if it means you and your child are both happy with that everyday care. To ensure you find a person or a company that would work well for you and your child, note a few tips to keep in mind even before you begin shopping around.
Space and number of children
You might prefer a private home as childcare for your child, assuming that your child will get more individualized attention in a private home. However, note the number of children that are cared for, as well as the overall space and the number of staff in any home or facility. A small home that is trying to accommodate several children can be more crowded than a facility with twice the number of children, but three or four times the space and number of staff! If it's important that your child get personalized attention, note the caretakers per child, not just the space of a home itself.
If you're very nervous about leaving your child in someone else's care, you might consider a facility with cameras. Many childcare facilities today have security cameras in the play area and other such spaces, and you can log onto a secured website that allows you to view the facility over the internet. This can give you peace of mind in being able to check up on your child and the care he or she is getting at any time, without having to actually visit the facility during the day.
You should have some type of written contract offered to you by a childcare provider. This will outline their refund policy if you should need to take your child out of their care temporarily, such as for a family emergency or holiday, or if you need to end their services abruptly, and so on. The contract should also outline their policies for sick children, and for who can pick up a child from their facility. A contract also demonstrates that this person or facility is reliable and is running their childcare like a business, so you know they're not likely to simply stop providing their services without adequate notice.
I work as a nurse, and I'm separated from my husband, so it's quite complicated for us to work out child care sometimes. We have an family child care centre down the road that is amazing and does so much to keep our family ticking when we need child care out of hours. I know I'm not the only one who needs flexibility in child care, and I know that a lot of other parents are also struggling with the juggle of managing child care out of the normal opening hours of a centre. This blog is a place to share ideas and solutions we have worked out, with each other.