How to find a good day care

Approach your daycare search as you would a job hunt. Be thorough, do your homework, and start your quest early.

One: Identify your priorities

First, decide what you want. Are you looking for daycare near work? Or would one closer to your home be more convenient? Do you want your child around lots of other kids as he/she would be in a center, or just a few (more likely in a home daycare)? Write everything down so you can refer to the list as you size up potential daycares.

Two: Do your research: Ask around to find the most reputable daycares. Friends and family can help get the Three: Visit and interview

You can ask a few preliminary questions over the phone (fees and ages of children, for example), but you won’t really get a sense of what a daycare place is like until you go there . Ask about everything from hours, fees, to philosophies on child rearing issues like discipline, feeding, and sleeping. Get a schedule of the day’s activities and the center’s policies. Pay attention to your gut feeling and how the director or caregiver handles the questions.

Three: Check References: Positive word-of-mouth is a powerful endorsement. If a certain daycare has a buzz, ask other parents why they’re raving about it.

Kids Test it: Come back and visit for a while with your child. You’ll want to see how he and the caregiver interact and if he seems comfortable in the center’s environment.

Ultimately, choosing a daycare is a very personal decision. But basically, you’ll want a warm, clean, safe environment and experienced teachers.

Useful Contacts:

Malcoms Day Care

Victoria Kids Care

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