When you make the decision to allow someone other than yourself or your spouse to care for your child, it’s a decision that is always filled with much anxiety. Not only must you get past your own personal hang-ups about not being the sole caregiver of your child, but you must also find the right person that you can trust explicitly with your child. Finding that person, whether it’s in a daycare facility or a home daycare, is very difficult. Find out here how to interview a daycare provider to find the right one!
Start by collecting a list of names and numbers of daycare providers in your area. Give each of them a call to answer some basic questions. Even if you have many numbers at the beginning of your search, you will find that this first phone call will eliminate many possible choices. This will leave you with just a few that you’ll need to visit! During this phone call you will want to ask some basic questions including:
- Is there enough room for your child? If not is there a waiting list and how long is it?
- Do you have the proper licensing?
- What are the hours?
- How long are they closed over the holidays?
- What other times or days are they closed?
- What are pick up and drop off times and are there any late penalties?
- What is the billing process? How much are the fees? What’s included in those?
Once you have limited your search to a few of the best-looking daycare providers, you can then begin to visit them. Some require an appointment beforehand. If they are an actual facility, this shouldn’t be necessary and might actually be a warning sign that they need to ‘get ready’ before parents come.
When you do visit, you first want to make sure that the childcare workers are fully trained and licensed to be working with children. You definitely want someone who has at least two years of college, preferably in early childhood development. Along with this, you also want to make sure that the center or the daycare provider at the home shares the same parenting philosophies as you. Here are some questions you can ask to ensure this on your first meeting:
- Do you have any formal training in childhood education?
- What type of discipline is used?
- How are children comforted when they’re upset?
- What do you like and dislike most about caring for children?
- How many other workers are there and what is the worker to child ratio that is upheld at all times?
- Are kids allowed to watch television?
- What is the children’s daily routine?
- What activities are there for them to do?
Of course while you’re visiting you also want to make sure that the daycare is clean and safe. Also make sure that you would feel comfortable leaving your child there. Try and bring your child with you so you can see how they feel about the place, and how the workers interact with them.