Sending your children to daycare can be a daunting decision. But, with back-to-school season on the horizon, finding the right daycare should be a priority. Working parents want their children in the best care possible, and Better Business Bureau is here to help.
As with researching any service, knowing what you want ahead of time is the key to finding what you’re looking for. If you know what kind of daycare service you want for your child, you can weed out the options that aren’t right for you. Parents should first determine if they need half-day or full-day care, as well as in-home or facility-based care. They should also decide on how far they are willing to drive roundtrip for daycare services. Also, parents should determine how much they are willing to pay.
BBB offers some additional tips on finding the right daycare service:
• Determine what is important to you and your child. For instance, how would you want discipline, meals, electronics use, naptime, and outside play handled? Check to see if your potential childcare provider is first aid and CPR certified with insurance and how they handle emergency situations.
• Ask family or friends for recommendations and checkout online reviews.
• Take the opportunity to tour prospective daycares. Make sure everything is up to code on safety and fire regulations. They should be clean, organized, childproofed, and contain books and toys that are age appropriate.
• Ask about meals and snacks, sick child policy, and security.
• Inquire about any upfront fees or deposits. Some may charge extra for things like late child pick-up. Ask about financial assistance, payment plan options, and payment deadlines.
• Find out if the facility is licensed and insured.
• Find out if the child care provider has been accredited by a national organization, such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association for Family Child Care.
• Ask how long the staff have been there, how they are hired, and what their credentials are. Observe the children-to-staff ratio.
• Get a full breakdown of the children’s daily activities. Ask about the balance between structured and unstructured activities.
• Find out if a trial visit is offered, which allows your children to visit for a day to see how they like it or ask about talking to other parents about their experience.
• Allow for an adjustment period once your children are enrolled and try to form a polite, friendly relationship with the staff.
It can be difficult to leave your child in the hands of another person, but BBB can make the process as smooth and easy as it possibly can be. Take the time to find the right daycare for your needs. BBB can provide a list of BBB Accredited daycares and Business Profiles on one’s you’re considering. Visit BBB.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.