As a parent, new or experienced, finding a good daycare provider can be very stressful. For starters, most providers are expensive, charging an average of $150 – $200 a week for just one child. It’s also very difficult to find a perfect stranger that you can trust to watch your child for an entire day. There are many things that you should be aware of and avoid doing when searching for a babysitter. Remember that not only do you want a babysitter that you trust, but someplace and someone that your child will enjoy while you are at work.
Here are some tips that all parents should consider when searching for a daycare provider.
Location: “Our babysitter is only five minutes away”.
Ok, so you don’t have to sit in traffic for an extra 20 minutes or drive completely out of your way to get little Johnny to the babysitter in the morning. However, the babysitter has an IQ the size of bread crumbs and totally incompetent of taking care of your child while you are at work. I agree that a short travel to the babysitter is beautiful, but make sure that you are not choosing a stranger to care for your child solely based on the distance.
Prestige: “Our kids are going to the finest daycare in the area”.
There are some people that choose daycare centers based on prestige and status. “Well, my child goes to the best daycare in the area”, someone may say. Status and prestige is the last thing you should worry about. The biggest concern should always be the quality of service. Do you want to drop your child off at an expensive daycare center that holds so many kids that your child is ignored all day?
Cheap Childcare: “I just found a babysitter who can care for Kiana for $50 a week”.
Ok, fifty bucks a week is just an exaggeration so relax. You wont find a child care provider that cheap. However, there are some daycares – whether it’s a center or an in-home provider – who may cost less than the average provider in your area. Once again, choosing a daycare based on price is not a good idea. What if this bargain babysitter has a reputation of losing children every time she takes them outside to play? Maybe the low price is a way to attract parents because business is so bad. That’s just a thought. Make sure you do a thorough research on all daycare providers before you commit to one.
Relatives or Friends as Babysitters
I love my all friends and family so much. I really do. However, there are some of them that shouldn’t even be around children. Pigs would have to fly before I leave my daughter with some of the people I know. There are some parents that will allow a family member or a good friend to watch their child to save money or because you can depend on them, but I recommend that you interview and investigate your friends and family the same way you would to a perfect stranger. Just because you trust your best friend to return your favorite dress after a night at the club, doesn’t mean that you can trust her to watch your kids.
Choosing Your Desired Daycare off of Word of Mouth
Ok, so your neighbor has her kids in Mrs. Watkins daycare and she says that her children love it. Your sister agrees that the daycare is wonderful and you should enroll your child as well. You enroll your child into Mrs. Watkins daycare and your child is unable to get along with your neighbors kids, your sister’s kids and Mrs. Watkins. Now your precious angel hates going to that dreadful place, congratulations. Make sure that after you hear something good about a certain daycare; you check it out for yourself. Make sure that you and your child feel comfortable with a new environment before commitment. Sometimes, you may feel very comfortable with a babysitter in the beginning and change your mind. At least with that situation, you made the decision and not your friends.
No Questions Asked
Your maternity leave is almost over and you still haven’t found a babysitter. So what do you do? You rush around in hopes to find someone and anyone before it is time to go to work. You don’t ask enough questions or do enough research before choosing a daycare provider. Your first day back at work, you turn on the television to find your babysitter in a high speed police chase, while your child in the backseat. Ok, this is another extreme example, but you get the point. Make sure you make enough time for yourself to thoroughly investigate all the daycare providers that you are interested in.