The process of finding a nurturing environment for your child doesn’t have to be intimidating with the right approach. We recommend these three tips for finding child care providers to make the process as smooth as possible!
1. Make a List!
There are so many types of child care providers out there. Private and public child care facilities, family child care homes, preschool co-ops, non-profit preschools – the list goes on. Consider all of the options and decide which type of child care is right for you and your family based on its proximity, schedule alignment, and budget.
Explore the child care options in your area and create a list of child care providers based on your family’s needs. Searching on google maps is a great first step, but we encourage you to contact your local child care and resource referral agency to help you find the centers that will best serve you and your family.
Child Care and resource referral agencies serve as a resource to the different types of child care providers in your area. They will ask questions about you and your child, and create a list of providers for you to contact based on your childcare needs.
2. Do Your Research
You’ve come up with a solid list of child care providers that can serve you and your family. Time to do some research and refine your options. Prior to scheduling a tour, we suggest you explore the following areas through their website and/or your state’s child care licensing agencies. Jot down any questions that may arise during your research process to ask during your upcoming tour.
- Services Offered: Explore the provider’s mission and philosophy, what ages the program serves, their events, and their commitment to health and safety.
- Licensing Report and Health and Safety Inspections. Licensing history, last visit by a state licensing agency, and what type of health and safety violations the program has been cited for are all public information. Explore more through your state’s child care inspections.
- National Accreditation: Being accredited by a national accrediting body demonstrates that the child care center has gone above and beyond state licensing requirements. Is the school NAEYC accredited? The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest nonprofit organization that represents early childhood educators, representing early childhood educators, families of young children, policymakers, and advocates in the United States. All NAEYC-accredited child care facilities share the belief that your children’s high-quality experiences at home, in child care, and at school are fundamental for school readiness, academic success, and future adult achievement.
- QRIS Rating: Pursuing state-subsidized care? Learn more about the program of interest and if they are meeting quality standards by exploring their Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) rating. Programs earn higher ratings as they meet more quality standards. QRIS is mandatory for licensed child care providers or for programs that receive state subsidies.
- Testimonials. While you shouldn’t inform your decision solely based on the experience of others, it can be helpful to see what other parents in the community are saying about a center’s services. Any red flags can be directly addressed when you tour the prospective center.
3. Schedule a Tour
You’ve done your research, now it’s time to schedule a tour! Depending on your city, some child care facilities may have virtual tours due to COVID-19 restrictions. Regardless, contact the center to schedule a tour. By now you should have a few of your own questions, but we encourage you to ask the following.
- Are you licensed?
- Are you accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)?
- What is your teacher-to-child ratio?
- How do you handle discipline?
- What is the teacher turnover rate?
- What is your school’s philosophy/approach?
- What are the program’s tuition fees?
- How do you manage the safety of the school population?
We’ve designed a parent checklist for you to help in identifying a high-quality preschool. We recommend taking this guide with you when you visit childcare centers so that you can easily compare and make the best decision for yourself and your child.
Here at Kids’ Care Club
Kids’ Care Club is a family-owned, NAEYC-accredited child development center that prides itself on providing a high quality of care to children in a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment. Kids’ Care Club provides an academic curriculum that best aligns with your child’s current stage of development to promote social skills and school readiness across their Infants, Toddlers, Two-Year-Olds, Preschool, and Pre-K classrooms. Kids’ Care Club is proud to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), an organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children by setting the highest professional standards across the various developmental domains of your child.
We invite you to contact us to schedule a tour today to learn more about the services we offer.