Are you a new parent who wants to learn more about daycare? If this is your first child (or your first child in preschool), take a look at the dos and don'ts of choosing and using childcare services.
Do Start Your Search Early
When does your child need to start in a new care or pre-kindergarten program? If you're still months away from returning to work or your child isn't ready for pre-k yet, you may need to start a program search right now.
Fifty-nine percent of children five-years and under were in some form of child care or other nonparental care program/arrangement in the year 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This statistic can help you to understand why and how care programs often have long wait lists. With more than half of American children in daycare, some areas don't have enough centers to keep up with the growing demand.
Even though child care is in high demand, you can find a quality program for your infant, toddler, or preschooler. But you may have to secure a space weeks or months before your child's expected start date. The sooner you begin your search, the better chances you have of getting into your top choice program.
Don't Tour Centers Alone
While an infant or young toddler may not care which preschool their parents send them to, a three, four, or five year old may want some say in the choice. Bring your older toddler or preschooler along for program tours. Not only will this help you to get a better idea about whether the school is the right match for your child, it can also help your preschooler to feel more comfortable about starting a new program.
Do Go Back To the Center Before the First Day
You've chosen a school—and a few weeks or months later your child is ready for their first day. Even though they may have gone with you on a tour, your child may not remember the school, the teacher, or their new classroom.
If your child doesn't feel completely comfortable starting a new school, ask the director about a pre-first day tour or a brief meet and greet. The tour will also help to refresh your memory and may give you ideas about what to pack for your child (extra clothes, snacks, hygiene products, and other everyday necessities) or may add to your comfort level.
For more information, contact a local company like Learning Tree Schools.