Tips to finding the best childcare for your child

Mommy and Me Spring outfits

This is a sponsored post with Kindercare. All opinions are my own.

When I was in high school, I was convinced that I would grow up and work with kids as my career.  I took a child development class and loved it.  One of the parts of the class was to spend time at a childcare and interact with the kids once a week.  The school we went to was Kindercare and I will always have great memories of the time I spent there and the kids I got to know.  Even in high school, long before I became a parent, I could tell that it was a great environment for little ones as the teachers truly cared about the kids and the kids all seemed to love it here.

Mommy and Me Spring outfits

As I got older I realized that working with kids was not what I wanted to do and not until I had my daughter 4 years ago, did I even think about childcare or preschool again.  When I started looking for childcares it was a little bit hard to figure out what we wanted to look for.  All the ones we visited seemed to have a great caring staff and space for littles ones and in the end for one of the first ones we chose was proximity to our home and that I felt comfortable with the owner and the teachers.  Since then we’ve been through 2 childcares and her current pre-school (we switched for varying reasons, nothing negative) and I’ve learned what I wanted to look for in childcares for my daughter.

If you are in the position of looking for a childcare for your little ones, here are a few tips that have helped me in our search:

TIPS TO FINDING THE BEST CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILD

Mom groups:

What I’ve found most valuable in our search for childcares is a asking around in the community.  In the area that I live in we actually have a facebook group just for the moms in the area and it is an invaluable resource for asking advice and getting honest feedback.  Since it’s a closed private group (the admins are very strict about who they allow in the group) no one holds back and sugarcoats if they have an issue, but at the same time if they love it, they will glow about it and so I trust this group immensely.

Visiting the school:

I visit without my daughter for the first time and then I bring her in at least twice after my initial visit.  I stay with her through the visit but I watch how she interacts with the environment and also watch how the kids currently enrolled behave to see if they like it and look like they are enjoying themselves.  Every school that we visited allowed me to do this without hesitation when I asked.

Communication with the owner/director:

Whoever is in charge of the childcare center, it’s essential to have a good relationship with him/her.  Personally, beyond just how they are in person I also like to see how responsive they are on email and by phone before we start.  If I find that my emails and voicemails go unanswered for days, it makes me feel a little uncomfortable knowing that if my child was there, I would have a hard time getting a hold of the school for an emergency.  I also make sure that we have open communication on anything my daughter is going through whether it is at home or at school.

Age ranges of the children:

Almost all the schools we visited, segmented the kids by age groups however in one of the childcares, my daughter ended up being the oldest child in the group and she simply seemed bored. She thrives in an environment with kids slightly older in age and prefers it.  Even though it’s only a difference in a year or so, kids play so differently at each stage so she just wasn’t able to connect with anyone that could play as she was used to playing..  Once we switched schools I made sure that the other kids in her group were children who were her age or older and she’s been so much happier.

There’s obviously more reasons like making sure that the way they teach and care for your child aligns to what you are looking for but these things have helped me narrow down the best school for us.  It’s not just about the “red flags” but also what you as a parent are looking for in an school environment and how the teachers interact with the kids.

Mommy and Me Spring outfits

Because I had been familiar with Kindercare already it was one of the first options that we explored.  They really hit on many of the things that I was looking for in a childcare and I really love how much they integrate both the children and parents in everything that they do.

KinderCare currently has 1,400 centers in 38 states, with an unmatchable conviction to provide outstanding services, confidence and comfort in families across the nation.  They have great experience and dedication to creating environments for families.  I love that their teachers truly enjoy working for them because a good working environment makes for a better teacher and caregiver for our children.  Every teacher that I’ve met there has been enthusiastic about not only taking care of your children but giving them a fun and safe place to be while I’m at work.

Another thing that I love is that for every 3 families they serve, they support a family of modest means so that they can build a confident future for their children.  They take on a very collaborative approach with parents and the needs of the child so it makes us as parents feel so much more comfortable with leaving our children with them!

Mommy and Me Spring outfits

It’s always a bit tough when I drop my daughter off at school. Most of the time she’s fine but she’s always been very attached to me and it’s always hard on me when she clings to me and asks for more hugs and kisses before I leave.  It does however, make me happy to know that when she’s at school she’s in good hands and has so many friends to play with.  When I pick her up from school, I’m inundated with stories about how many times she went down the slide, what her and her friends did today and what she learned.  It makes it all worth it when I can see her growing and thriving in the school environment.

mommy and daughter summer outfits

I’m already tearing up thinking about sending her off to kindergarten but what makes me feel better is that her current school is really helpful in getting the children ready for the next step.  She comes home with new things that she’s learned and is eager to learn more which makes me so happy.

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