When you’re newly pregnant, searching for a daycare can be a daunting task. You might never have even set foot in a daycare before, and now you’re expected to select the perfect one for your bundle of joy.
It’s a tough challenge, but with a little homework and a lot of trusting your gut, you will find the right place for your new baby.
There are lots of obvious things to consider when looking for daycare — check that’s accredited, clean, caring and fits all your criteria of course. But what are the things you don’t think about?
Here is a quick guide to some of the less obvious things you should consider when selecting a daycare.
Get on more than one list
There are a lot of options out there: home daycare, Montessori, Steiner school, the list goes on!
Once you’ve narrowed down the decision on the type of daycare you want, you might discover that your top choices are already booked up.
If you’ve done a tour and fallen in love with some place that’s already full, put your name on the waitlist regardless. Situations change fast and the best way to find a place for your new bundle of joy is to persevere. It might cost money to reserve a place or be on multiple waitlists, but you’ll be glad to have options when your baby is here.
This one is tough, but it’s worth giving this decision a lot of thought.
Do you need your daycare closer to your work or closer to your home? If you have a partner, how close does it need to be to their work? How close should it be to your pediatrician? Ideally, you want it close to everything, but you need to find the right mix for your family.
Do a few dry runs in rush hour traffic to and from the daycare to see if the distance is feasible.
Also, remember that you might have a screaming baby in the back seat in the future, so don’t settle for a crazy long commute.
When you’re pregnant, you might not worry too much about this as you’ll be more concerned about nursing or bottle feeding, but six months comes around fast and you need to ensure that you’re happy with the food they’re serving at your chosen daycare.
Does it need to be organic? Will they be able to deal with allergies if you’re kid has some? Ask to see the menu, and question where the food is sourced from. Do they serve food or just snacks? Is it a dealbreaker if they don’t serve lunch?
When babies are small you might not be so worried about the playground, but they grow up quickly.
Does the daycare have a large play area? Do the caregivers take babies and toddlers on walks every day? Some facilities take babies out less than others. Does this matter to you?
Babies and toddlers love routine. Try to subtly find out how much staff turnover there is in the daycare. If they rely on temps or have lot of teacher turnover, it can be stressful for your kiddo and you.
Likewise, some daycare centers also operate as back-up care centers, so different kids might be coming and going in your kid’s class, which is not ideal.
Do your homework to see if this is likely to happen in your chosen center.
A clever gift for babies
Looking for a gift that both parents and babies will appreciate? These clever toys by Lovevery are designed by child development experts to stimulate and delight your baby from the moment they’re born to their first birthday.
Subscribe to the play kits and the new parents receive will receive age-appropriate toys and guidance for their new baby every month. It’s a simple gift, but one that will promote play, learning and discovery for this new little life.