8 things to consider before choosing a childcare provider

by Martha Scully

For all the working parents out there, childcare seems to be a major task!

Isn’t it?

It often becomes pretty strenuous for you to balance between your office hours and the little one in your home. Here, a perfect childcare provider can act as a boon for you. Whether it is a formal child-care center, in-home care or a family day care provider, all of them are great. All that you need to do is choose the right one as per your requirement.

However, you can’t just simply go for any random childcare provider. C’mon! you’re going to give the responsibility of your beloved child to that person/organization. It’s essential to ensure that he/she is in the safe hands.

What to consider before opting for a childcare provider?

1. Safety is the foremost concern

When it comes to your kid, safety and security are the two major things to keep in mind. You need to give a special attention to the building and equipment of the caregiver. They must exist in good repair. Your child doesn’t deserve to spend his/her days in any vulnerable place!

Also, a yet another significant factor that you should take care of is the security system. It is required to ensure that only authorized people are taking the charge. Thus, you can be relaxed about the place where you’ve left your darling.

2. Cleanliness matters

A hygienic place is really significant when it comes to a childcare provider. It will let your baby grow in a healthy environment. You should make it a point to notice that whether the caregiver is encouraging the children to follow the basic sanitation rules or not. Above that, they should themselves opt for clean procedures while handling your child. It will prevent your kid from falling ill.

3. Energetic environment makes sense

For the proper physical and psychological growth of your child, active learning is really important. If there are interesting things to explore, read, and interact, your child will have a great time.

Hence, you should ensure that you are looking for the availability of block, puzzles, rhymes, dramatic playing materials inside the place. All these will altogether give your kid a better place to thrive.

4. Flexibility is needed

Both of you have to go through the 9-to-5 grind! So, a busy schedule is something very common in your life. Hence, you should certainly look for the flexibility factor when it comes to choosing a childcare provider.

Whether it is for accommodating work schedules (permanent or casual) or to deal with various unplanned professional commitments, it’s worthwhile considering a childcare which offers you pliability with the time of care that you’ve booked for your kid.

It can directly cut-down your worries remarkably at just one go!

5. Staff ratio is important

The National Quality Framework and associated legislation have specific guidelines associated with each state when it comes to the number of staff care for children. It is recommended that you make yourself accustomed to the requirements of the state where you are living.

Fortunately, there are many such childcare centres present out there which even go above the minimum requirements in case of the number of staffs. Also, the level of qualification held by each educator is an essential thing to look for.

Some of the common questions to ask yourself are:

  • How many educators are there to look after your child?
  • How much is the centre staff turnover?
  • How about the staffing roster? Is it consistent?

6. Good nutrition options are desired

Your child needs a healthy and nutritious menu to meet his/her bodily needs. As you are leaving your baby to the caregiver for a significant amount of time, you need to ensure about a perfect nutrition. The childcare provider that you’ve opted for must provide healthy meals to your kid.

One of the smartest ideas could be getting a few sample menus from the centre and checking out whether you are happy with them or not. Some of the childcare providers might allow you to bring the food for your kid. In that case, you are lucky enough!

Even if the centre doesn’t allow that and your child has any special dietary requirement, be sure to let the provider know about this. Also, make sure that you know it very well how they are going to cater to the needs of your child.

7. A convenient location is a must

Amid of the demanding work and life schedules, you really can’t afford a childcare provider which is far away from your home. Hence, you should obviously consider a nearby location. You must have the right answers to the following questions in your mind:

  • How close is the centre from your home or work?
  • How can the childcare provider affect your morning or evening routine?
  • Will it be possible for you to pick up your kid from the centre at the right time?

Once a provider seems to be positively comfortable enough with all these expectations, go for it!

8. Look for the size of the childcare

Childcare providers have their set-ups in all the shapes and forms. There are family day care services which specifically exist for smaller groups of children at the carer’s residence. In case of this type, the number of children can vary from 20 to 200. However, there are many providers as well which accommodate many more children. The available facilities vary from one place to another.

Hence, it is always better to check out which type is suitable for your child. C’mon! It’s your baby. So, you will be the best person to decide on the perfect place.

Last but not the least, let your kid be in the right place.

Whenever you decide to opt for a childcare provider, keep the aforementioned important points in your mind. You will certainly end up being worry less!

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.