How to Determine the Right Childcare Option for Your Family
The decision to put your child in the hands of another caregiver is never an easy one. You want the best for your little one. Whether you decide to hire a babysitter, enroll in a childcare center, or opt for in-home care, this important decision comes with a host of considerations that can feel pretty overwhelming to parents.
Before you land on the right choice for your child, consider these tips to help you adequately and thoroughly appraise each childcare option.
Consider Your Child’s Temperament
As you start to interview local nannies and explore day care centres for children in Sydney, look to your child’s disposition to direct your decisions. Every child has different needs, likes, dislikes, quirks, and strengths, and different childcare opportunities will bring out the best and worst in your child.
It can be difficult for your little one to be away from you, and the more comfortable and secure they feel in your absence, the better the situation will be. Determine the circumstances that will allow your unique child to feel capable, prosperous, safe, and comfortable while you’re away.
Book a Few Meetings
Whether you explore the option of a neighborhood home care opportunity or you decide to secure a spot at a local daycare, make sure to schedule tours, perform a few interviews, and do all that you can to get a good feel for the ins and outs of the facility or childcare situation. It can be helpful to prepare a list of questions ahead of time that stays consistent from meeting to meeting so you can be certain that you will cover all your bases and address all your inquiries without forgetting something important.
There are a variety of childcare philosophies, and each childcare option will align with one or another. Look to the caregiver or facility’s policies to determine whether their standards and procedures reflect your values and parenting philosophies. Pay attention to their methods of discipline, snack and feeding schedules, screen-time policies, and safety measures in place.
Perform Due Diligence
It’s important that you find a childcare option in which you can place your full trust. For this reason, it can be helpful to ask other parents about their experiences with a specific facility, caregiver, or situation and find out what they have appreciated about their time there and anything they wish were different.
In the absence of familiar contacts or colleagues that you can reach out to, scour the internet for reviews and writeups from parents and other resources that can help you to further develop trust or let you know that you should look elsewhere.
You may want to drop by the facility, too, to make sure it checks all your boxes. Examine whether the place is clean, well-stocked, age-appropriate, and staffed by attentive, involved caregivers that appear to consistently and positively engage and interact with the children there.
The best way to ensure that a childcare situation will be adequate and ideal for you and your family is to take your unique concerns directly to the provider. Let go of any of your worries about being “that parent” who appears overprotective or overearnest with a long list of questions.
Your child’s comfort and safety are of utmost importance, so any questions should only serve to benefit the experience for you and the provider alike in that your expectations and values are made known. Ask your potential provider questions such as:
- Are you trained in CPR?
- What is the child-to-provider ratio?
- What types of active play opportunities are available?
- Are there any designated areas for quiet play?
- What is your philosophy on unannounced parental visits?
- Are boys and girls encouraged toward the same activities?
- How do you accommodate dietary restrictions?
- How do you handle tantrums or outbursts?
These questions, among others, can provide a great deal of peace of mind and determine whether the situation is a good fit for both of you.
Right Childcare Option: Stay Involved
After you decide on a childcare plan for your little one, it’s important that you remain an active presence going forward. From regular meetings to volunteer opportunities, the more present you are in your child’s care plan, the more confident you, your child, and your provider will be.
Do what you can with your schedule and limitations to check in with your child and his or her caregiver to make sure you’re all on the same page about the health, happiness, and wellbeing of your child.