Monthly Archives: November 2010

Day Care Locator

daycare-center-climbingAt www.decideondaycare.com, we want to give you the parenting information you need to make the search for the perfect child care provider as easy as possible. Here’s a good place to begin the search. We’ve gathered links to websites for specific states to help you find day care in your area. Most are government-run websites for a child care locator containing certified day care providers. In some cases we were unable to find a suitable government site, so we substituted another daycare resource.

Just click on your state’s name. The link will lead to an external website to help you find day care providers in your area.

We cannot warranty or guarantee the accuracy of any information on any of these websites. This list does not constitute an endorsement by www.decideondaycare.com . Our hope is that this list can help you get started in your search for quality day care.

We hope that you find the information here helpful in your search for quality day care providers.  If you have any questions or comments concerning this list please feel free to contact us at www.decideondaycare.com by using our contact us form.

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Daycare Research Spreadsheet

daycare-spreadsheet

When I first tried to find daycare for my children, I realized how difficult it was to keep track of my findings about each of the daycare providers, and it wasn’t easy to compare the different providers.

I learned so much information as I interviewed them over the phone. There were many questions I asked the daycare providers as I interviewed them on the phone: Does that daycare have a preschool curriculum? Did that daycare have any pets? What was the childcare provider’s discipline style?  Were there any smokers in the house?  What were their hours?  So I created a spreadsheet to track all this information I collected during the phone interviews.  I also collected information from the local United Way and other organizations that had information on daycare providers specific to my area.

Ecosystem Grid Journal
Ecosystem Grid Journal

This tool became invaluable. I realized I could look at different daycare providers at a glance and see which ones fit our needs better.  When I became tired of calling providers, my wife could see where I had left off, call more providers on the list, and fill in the information we needed. It was such a helpful tool for us, I hope that it can help you in your own search for daycare. The spreadsheet includes costs, extra fees, and some of the more common questions you’ll ask. There are also several places for miscellaneous daycare information for any specific questions you may have.

Download the spreadsheet and save it to your computer. Fill out as much detail as you’d like…I would suggest being very detailed.  You need to have enough information on the sheet to make a decision between many daycare providers.  If your notes are too generic it will be difficult to see differences between providers. Specific references to the conversation may jog your memory about the provider.  It is possible that you may need to return to your daycare search sooner than expected. If it hasn’t been long since you started, your spreadsheet will be very helpful to you, and providers who didn’t have openings when you began looking may have an opening six months later.

Make sure to have this spreadsheet open and ready when you start making your phone calls and start investigating the specifics of each daycare provider.  This spreadsheet can be used for preschools, daycare centers, nannies and even babysitters.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.  We would also love to hear any feedback you may have, including suggestions about items that we could add or change to make it more useful.

Good luck tracking down your perfect daycare! This extra effort will be well worth the reward of finding the perfect daycare or preschool for you!

Click here to download the spreadsheet. (This does not have any macros in it.)

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Amazing Savings at zulily’s

Zulily’s is a new and interesting way to shop online. They don’t have a store in the traditional sense. They find the best deals at blowout prices on name brand items. When you join as a member of the website, they’ll notify you of the things that you’re interested in so you can jump on these deals as they happen. I encourage you to check them out as you can save quite a bit of money as a member of Zulily’s.

Click here to become a free member of zulily’s!

Here is some more information about them from their site.

Just what is zulily?

zulily is fabulous! It’s a new online store offering daily sales events on top-quality apparel, gear and other goodies for moms, babies and kids. We carry the best brands at the lowest prices.  Members enjoy savings of up to 70% off retail prices. zulily loves to find deals on favorite styles, and we love introducing our members to exciting new brands, too.

Why join?

It’s like a ticket to an amazing sample sale. Only members can take advantage of zulily’s low prices. Membership is free and signing up is fast and easy. Once you’re a member, you’ll be the first to know what we’ve got to offer every day.

How zulily works

We’re not a traditional online store. Instead, we feature new items every day. We find great buys from lots of brands and work with them to ship you the goods. We don’t keep stock in a warehouse. zulily events last 72 hours . . . then they’re gone! New brands move in and get their three days on the site.

Each weekday, we offer at least five limited-time shopping events. Members receive a daily e-mail revealing the latest events. From there, members (gleefully!) click to our site and shop. Members can also go straight to the site to shop every morning.

Every day is different, so if you’re looking for something specific, check back often. Anything and everything for moms, babies, and kids will show up on zulily!

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Daycare & Preschool Supplies You May Need

daycare-crayon-scatterWhether your child will be attending a daycare center or an in-home childcare provider, you will need to furnish some initial supplies.

You’ll need to provide at least one set of clothes. It’s a good idea to give your provider one “summer” outfit and one “winter” outfit, and an extra pair of shoes. Make sure the clothes can be stored with the daycare provider or at the preschool until they’re needed, and that you won’t miss them if you don’t get them back for awhile (or at all) .  Kids are very active and get dirty at daycare. Depending on the specific activities your daycare offers, you may need to provide a few other things such as a swimsuit, sportswear or winter weather gear such as heavy coats, gloves, and a set of winter boots.  If your child comes home in the extra clothes, be sure to wash them right away and return them to the daycare provider. You don’t want to leave your child without an extra set of clean and warm clothes.

Diapers

Luvs Diapers
Luvs Diapers

If your child is still in diapers you’ll need to make sure that the daycare provider remains well stocked with diapers and everything else you need for a diaper change:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Diaper rash cream (many providers will require you to sign a permission slip)
  • An extra set of clothes (your baby or toddler should ideally have two sets of clothes there)
  • Plastic tub to keep everything in (if the provider wants one)

For babies, you’ll need to provide expressed breast milk each day, or provide the baby’s formula. It’s a good idea to provide some formula even if you are pumping—babies enter growth spurts without warning and the provider may use up your entire day’s milk supply before the day is over!

The daycare may keep track of feeding and diaper changes for infants. It’s helpful to see how much food your child is consuming, and when, and if they are being changed at regular intervals and having regular bowel movements. They should also note the time they go down for a nap and what time they wake up.   It’s also helpful to know about the basic mood of the child for the day, what kind of activities they did, if the provider noticed any progress with milestone activities (lifting head, rolling over, crawling, etc). It’s difficult to remember to tell the parent everything that happened in the day when the child is picked up, and many states require that the provider keep track of this information each day.  It’s especially helpful to have this information when you get home and realize you have absolutely no idea when your child will need to eat again.

Medications and Special Needs

Millions of parents have a child with some kind of special need.  You may need to provide medication or equipment and instructions on how to use it.  If you’ve contracted with a provider, you will have already discussed their willingness to work with your child’s needs. If your provider seems to be hesitant or having second thoughts when they begin working with your child, you may need to reevaluate whether your child should really be attending this particular daycare. Childcare providers today should be experienced with handling the more prevalent special needs, such as food allergies and ADHD. For less prevalent and more intensive needs, it may be a more difficult search. Regardless, after evaluating their own capacity and agreeing to take your child, they should be ready and willing to work with you, and keep you updated on how everything is going.

Almost all daycare providers will require you to fill out a permission form for any medications or treatments they will need to give during the day.   When you return the permission slip and the medication or treatment information, you may also want to provide a simple, typed explanation of the dosage or steps of the treatment. It’s good to have a reference to verify they are doing the right thing. In a daycare center, you don’t always know which teacher will be working with your child, so it would be nice for all the teachers to have access to the instructions.  Your providers should already be certified in first aid and should know how to handle allergic reactions, minor injuries or other common ailments with children.

It’s up to you to be clear with the provider regarding your needs as well as your child’s needs.  Tell them under what circumstances they should contact you.  Whether your child has allergies, asthma or another condition, be sure to cover the warning signs and what the provider’s course of action needs to be.  When you are contacted by the daycare provider during one of these times, keep a level head.  The daycare provider needs to know that you appreciate the honesty up front and contacting you right away.  Give them advice if they need it and thank them for letting you know what happened and for taking care of it.

Other Supplies

Sometimes daycare providers will have special projects and may ask the parents to bring something special to daycare.  For a fall project, you might need to have your child collect colorful leaves from your yard, or you might need to provide some pictures of the family for a Father’s Day present.  If the daycare provider has a rich preschool program, you may need to help keep the kids supplied with school supplies.

These things, like so many others, never seem to come up until you are expected to handle them immediately.  Hopefully this article will give you some insight into what is expected from you as a parent. Should your daycare provider ask for much more support, such as asking you to provide all a child’s food for child with a few food allergies, I would suggest looking for other daycare.  There are many quality providers who can accommodate your child’s needs.

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Help Your Child Adjust to Daycare

Sometimes kids need some help adjusting to daycare. Or maybe they need some confidence in going to preschool or daycare. Their routines are their lives and it can be hard to get them used to something out of their routine. If your child needs a little help you might want to try getting them a book of their own about daycare. It can help them learn about how fun daycare or preschool can be.

Try this book out at Barnes & Nobel: I Love Daycare by Joy Berry, Dana Regan

Carl the rottweiler takes charge when things take an unexpected turn at the day care center he is visiting.

It can be very helpful to address this anxiety at home and away from daycare.  A story you read to them frequently about daycare can help them get comfortable with the idea, even excited. So give it a try even if you are just thinking about daycare!

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