Whether both parents are in the workforce, or you just need a caregiver sporadically, finding the right childcare is very important. Finding someone you trust and that your child likes will make all the difference in you and your child’s well being. When you are away from your child, you want them taken care of physically, mentally and emotionally. Your caregiver will have a direct effect on these aspects of your child’s growth. Here’s our list of things to keep in mind during your search.
First, decide based on budget and your child’s needs, whether you will have an in-home nanny or send your child to a childcare center. What do you want your caregiver to provide? How much time will you be away from your child? Feeding, education, bathing, cleaning, transportation, entertainment are all responsibilities to consider. Have a timeline and all your expectations written down and addressed.
Ask friends and family if they have any recommendations. Find out if there’s a caregiver training school or certification program in your neighborhood and visit for advice. Check references and criminal record or go through a reputable agency to help you with this. Personal references and reviews as well as background checks can be very assuring, but ultimately it comes down to how you and your child feel with the person or the childcare center, their staff and the environment.
When interviewing a caregiver ask as many questions as possible. Write them down to help you get them all answered and check them off as you go through the conversation. Get to know them personally. Ask about their childcare philosophies, personal hobbies and interests, where they studied, what they do away from work, what their driving record is and their background. Ask about their work experience and give them hypothetical questions about how they would handle a certain situation with your child. Ask for examples of how they treated a situation with a child they cared for in the past. Once you feel comfortable introducing your child to the applicant, see how they interact with your child. If your gut is saying it doesn’t feel right, it most likely is not so keep searching. Trial runs are a great way to see first hand how you feel and your child feels as well as get feedback and feelings from the applicant. Maybe have a trial period of a week after the first run if you still aren’t one hundred percent before you sign an agreement.
Sign a Contract
Once you know who you want your child in the care of, you’ll need to put in writing your work agreement. Time expectations, rules of the house, pay, list of duties, sick days, vacation time should all factor into your agreement and be outlined. If signing with a childcare facility, make sure you understand their rules and contract before making it official. Next thing is to let go a little and be positively involved in your child’s experiences with your child care provider and ask them both questions when your child is picked up or dropped off.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your child’s healthcare provider directly for medical advice, diagnoses, and treatments. If you have specific questions or concerns about the health or development of your child, consult your child’s physician.