There’s a wide range of things that you need to consider when thinking about taking your child to a daycare center. Not only should you consider the needs of your child but you should also consider your own needs. Make sure to keep in mind your budget, your work schedule and the kind of experience that you’re hoping to give your child. Remember this is always a partnership between you, your child and your daycare provider.
One advantage that draws many people to a daycare center is their availability. Most daycare centers are open Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, year round. Some even have longer hours during the week. They also can offer things like a once a month “Parents’ Night Out”, when they keep the children longer into the evening, giving them dinner and a movie. A Something you may not even consider when comparing daycare types is that centers are usually only closed during the major holidays. In-home daycare providers or nannies will generally be closed or unavailable around major holidays, but also will have vacations during the year, sick days, appointments, and other scheduling conflicts, when you will need to find backup care for your child.
Daycare centers offer the closest facsimile of school which will make that eventual transition much easier for child. Daycare centers also offer a myriad of other services. So if you are looking for more than just daycare for child a center may be the choice that you want. They often have sports activities, field trips and optional classes.
Daycare preschool centers are often more structured than in-home daycares. If your child, like many, thrives on a very structured day, a daycare center could be the right choice. They generally have a day to day routine that remains similar. They will also have a daily routine that remains consistent. Oftentimes reading time, craft time, lunchtime and nap time are usually started and completed at around the same time every day. When your child has a structured routine this helps them feel more confident during their day and comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people.
If this sounds like what you’re for in a childcare provider, is likely that a daycare center would be right for you. Daycare centers may seem the same but they often vary greatly on the specifics of what they offer or what their focus may be. Some are religion-based, some academic-based, and some are activity-based. Make sure that you ask them the details of their day and what they focus on with the children. If the focus of the center aligns with your primary goals for your child in daycare, you may have found the right place.
You’ll want to prioritize what you find most important in the daycare center. Then when you are calling, and then later interviewing these daycare centers, you can compare them with your priorities. This should give you the knowledge and information that you need to make best informed choice for you and your child.