Things to consider during child care search

Childcare is working parents’ main concern. Astute readers with children already know that the quality of the daycare and the care the teachers provide are the most important factors under consideration during a daycare-center search. One may think what is there to do other than feeding and changing diapers. If we count the hours on weekdays, we will see that an infant or a toddler spends more conscious time in the daycare than with their parents. It is crucial that an infant or a toddler is receiving the proper care necessary for her/his development. We think that the following items are crucial when searching for a daycare-center for an infant or a toddler.

Speak with the Director and Ask your Questions

 The first thing to do is to speak with the director of the childcare center. Keep your antenna alert. Some people are very good at advertising what they do, some are not but might be a better childcare provider. When you are searching, you must concentrate on the term “care”. Try to find how caring the director herself/himself is. Come up with a set of questions for the director. Ask about the student/teacher ratio. Ask how many teachers and kids are there in the class of your child. Walk away if you are not comfortable with too many kids in one room even if the standard student/caregiver ratio is maintained. Another crucial question is if there is at least one teacher who will be there the entire day. We would avoid a daycare if we find that different teachers are serving in the morning part and in the afternoon part. Many directors have a tendency of rushing by stating that only one spot is left in the class your child will be going. Please do not rush based on that. You may feel a similar rush when you buy a house. However, buying a house is a different topic. For now, let us stick with childcare. What I was saying is, go to all the daycare centers you have listed before making a final decision. I won’t be rushed by the crisis the director may have mentioned.

Settle in El Paso team

Note: We first published this post on Jun 29, 2016. We have reposted this after some modifications.


16 thoughts on “Things to consider during child care search

  1. Great tips for daycare – very thorough and informative. Do you have Childminders in El Paso? I’m a childminder in the UK and we have strict guidelines in line with nursery(Day Care) settings and we have to follow the same educational standards. We’re also assessed and rated by the same government bodies. Large daycare settings are fantastic and preferable for some children and families, but others can flourish in a smaller ‘homely’ setting 🙂
    1. Hi, I am sorry that I did not see your message earlier. The message somehow went to the approval folder without sending me any notification.

      The concept of Childminders sounds great. I do not think we have Childminders here in El Paso. I do not think any state of USA has well-assessed Childminder-programs. However, when we were in the East Coast, we knew that there were childcare providers who take care of four to six children in a homely setting. They had the training but I am not sure if there was any regular assessment to maintain the educational standards. Not sure if there is any guideline provided by the State regarding such service. It would be great if such a great service grows in USA too.

      Thank you very much for letting us know about Childminders in UK. Your comment is very informative. Have a wonderful week.

  2. I’m curious about payment. Post dated cheques are most common here but parents don’t like them. How do you arrange for regular monthly payments?
    1. It’s the same here but checks are not post dated; rather current dates are used. We now pay weekly in Dear Son’s daycare. We pay for the next week on each Friday. credit/debit cards or checks all are accepted. Some daycare centers require a monthly payment before the month starts. Thank you for visiting and commenting.
  3. Great post 🙂 Very informative on choosing a daycare. I agree that the most important part is trusting your instinct. If you don’t feel comfortable there, then it’s probably for a good reason. I also agree with location, there’s a lot of security risk if access to the childcare is easy to get to by strangers.
    We have a separate but similar curriculum for under 5’s down here in New Zealand called Te Whariki. It focuses more on learning through exploring and playing, and on forming a strong partnership between the children, parents and teachers.
    1. We are so glad to hear that you liked this post. We appreciate that you have shared the link of New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum policy statement. We have downloaded the document. It will be a pleasant reading. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Have a wonderful week.
  4. Daycare for kids is the safest place while parents are out working. Having said that it is important for parents to go for the right day care centre and the tips that you have provided would help. I would say proximity could also be considered as reaching the child and picking it up every day should not pose a problem for parents.
  5. It’s great that parents are allowed to observe the day care classes before placing their kids there! Choosing childcare is such an important decision that you want to be as informed as possible, and even an otherwise good daycare might just not be a good fit for your child if the style of care isn’t right. I would be very suspicious of a daycare that wouldn’t want parents to observe.
    1. I agree one hundred percent. When we searched for a daycare for Dear Son a few years ago, we were able to reject a few just by observing a short time. Thanks for visiting and providing an insightful comment.
  6. Wow, the prices are too high, at least 800 dollars….here in Romania we pay 50 dollars a month at the state center, in private the cost varies between 200 – 400 dollars. But of course, the price doesn’t matter if we want to know our kids in a safe place and well-taking care of them.
    1. Agreed. Childcare costs vary between countries. Our friends in Canada also told us that their daycares are not that costly. Even within USA, daycare costs vary between states.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful time.

  7. I have a four months old child, I work from home and my wife has a part-time job. This arrangement makes little easier for our parenting endeavors. However, this arrangement will not work alway. Soon my wife will have a full-time day job and I cannot continue to sacrifice my working time to take care of the child for the entire day. We will have to find a child care center or at least hire a baby sitter.

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