If you know you want to go back to work after your baby is born, you should look for child care early. Some of the popular child care centers have wait lists, so the sooner you get on a list the better. However, you don't have to choose a trendy daycare because there are several options you can choose depending on your needs and priorities. Here are some things to look for when finding a child care center for your new baby or toddler.
Babies and toddlers need much more one-on-one attention than older kids. The number of staff at the center is an important thing to know. There should be more staff in the baby care section so babies get individual care and don't just say in a crib all day. In addition to the number of staff, you'll also want to know their qualifications and the training they've had so your child stays safe in their care.
Hours Of Operation
The hours of operation are a practical matter that has a lot of importance. If you're a shift worker, you may need early or late hours that are different from the usual office worker's hours. Sometimes, finding child care for late-night or overnight hours can be difficult. Even though your child may sleep most of the time, you want them to be in a safe place with plenty of staffing and security.
Babies and toddlers learn at an amazing rate, so you probably want your child to be in an enriching environment where they will grow and learn at a pace appropriate for their age. When you look at different places, discuss their educational philosophies and if they use the time at daycare to help your child learn skills that will benefit them in preschool and beyond. In addition to learning things like counting, colors, and reading, your child should also have the chance to learn social behaviors such as sharing, getting along with other kids, and taking turns. While your child should have fun in a daycare setting, you also want them to benefit from the care rather than just being supervised.
Safety is extremely important for your child, especially when they're still too young to tell you when something is wrong. Learn how the staff is vetted and the procedures for keeping guests away from babies and toddlers. Find out about the security of the building and the safety of the neighborhood. Safety is one of the most important concerns you'll have, so ask plenty of questions when you interview different child care centers.