What are some different choices for child care?

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Answered by: Melanie, An Expert in the Options in Child Care Category
Many new moms returning to work ask the question what different choices for child care are out there for me? Well the answer to that is there are quite a few. There are child care centers, commonly referred to as daycare, in-home child care centers, babysitters, and nannies, just to name a few. In this article I will be talking specifically about child care centers.

There are many different choices for child care centers, which means you have many choices to make if you chose to put your child in a center. You need to keep a few things in mind when looking into child care centers. First are you going to be receiving child care assitance from the state? If the answer is yes, you will have to find a center that accepts state assistance. If the answer is no, you will need to figure up how much you are able to spend for your child's care and compare rates of different centers in your area.

Second you are going to want to call the centers and find out if they have open spots and if you can schedule a time to tour the center. If a center is not willing to let you come in and tour and look in on the class that your child will potentially be in, that is a major red flag and you should keep looking. When you go in for a tour you will want to sit down with the director of the center and talk about the centers philosophy, what they do for the children, what type of credentials the teachers have or are working toward, what their policies are on a variety of topics and request to see a curriculum and schedule.

The schedule is important to see because you as a parent may want your child to have a more structured or a less structured day. Some centers do not allow for any television time, whereas others allow for quite a bit of time to watch t.v. The schedule is also important because it will show the times of important activities, such as breakfast, lunch, snack, and nap so you know when you need to have your child there in order to receive breakfast, or you may pick your child up thirty minutes later because you want to make sure they have had lunch or a nap.

The curriculum is an important thing to look at because it will show you what types of activities that your child will be participating in. If your main focus for your child is reading, you are going to want to look for a center whose curriculum who has a lot of reading and singing activities. If you want your child to do arts and crafts throughout the week you are going to want to see a curriculum with those types of activities on there.

The last important thing is for you to be able to meet your child's potential teacher and observe him or her in the classroom. By doing this you will be able to see how the teacher interacts with the other children and could potentially interact with yours. Most of the things you will be looking for when choosing a center will be based on personal preference. My best advice as an early child care teacher is do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to be comfortable with your child being there and don't be afraid to ask to see classroom, curriculums, schedules, and to be allowed to observe the teachers.

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