When it comes to picking out someone to look after your little one, there are a lot of different aspects to consider. Your child is still growing and learning, so being away from them is a necessity, but not something to take lightly. The person you are putting in charge of your child, even if just for a few hours, is going to be impacting their life. So with that in mind, whether you’re a mum or a dad, here are some tips for picking the best child care for you and little one.
Take your child’s needs into consideration
No two children are exactly alike. Some kids are more clingy to adults, while others are more independent and adventurous. Some will eat anything, and others are super picky when it comes to what they end up eating. These are all needs that should be considered, especially as accommodating your child’s needs will probably come easily to you. You need to make sure the child care you find can also provide for their needs. Consider using a child care finder service like Toddle. Having a list of the needs for your child will help you ask important questions and make sure that they are well suited for the place that you pick.
If your child is currently attending any form of schooling, it’s good to ask the teachers there if they have any recommendations or any child care places they work with. Asking people with children the same age as you is also a very good start. If these parents have been using different childcare centres or services, they will have first hand experience with them, giving you a good baseline to start looking into. Other parents are a good tool, especially if you trust their parenting and opinion.
Meet the staff
You’ll need to meet whomever will be spending those hours with your child. You should make sure that you have some face to face conversations before you hand over your little one, to make sure that they understand your child’s individual needs, as well as your expectations. Meeting up face to face for a small conversation before you end up agreeing on them being the person to care for your child is also important when it comes to your gut feeling about and connection with this person. They will be influencing your child, so getting along with them and knowing them is important.
Listen to your child
After your child has attended childcare, you should check back in with them and make sure they feel comfortable there and are having a good time. At first, they might cry and fight the experience, as they do not want to be separated from their parents. This is very normal, although some children – like twins, for example – sometimes find the initial separation a little easier. But by the time you pick them up, they should be happy and slowly be getting used to being away from their parents for that length of time.
You should talk with your child to make sure that they are comfortable there, being fed well, and are happy with the other children around them. If there are any concerns, it’s important to talk them over with the childcare provider to make sure that they are addressed.
Picking out the best child care for your little one may seem like a very big decision, and in a lot of ways it is. But as long as you are listening to your child and are willing to change where they go for child care if they aren’t comfortable, you should end up with a pleasant and rewarding experience for both you and your little one.