You should start looking for care months before you actually need it. This will give you time to thoroughly investigate your options. The first thing you need to do is determine what works best for your situation. Do you need the location to be close to your home or your place of work?
Second, do you have a preference if the facility is large or small? Some parents want more personal attention given to their child. This could be lacking in a larger crèche.
Next, talk to other parents and get recommendations. Take advantage of their past experiences. This is probably your best bet in finding a good crèche.
Once you have a list of providers, call each one and ask key questions. What are the hours of operation and the cost? What is the crèche’s philosophy on discipline, napping, and learning? , Are there structured activities? What is the child to minder ratio? Take thorough notes on each call and make sure to note your feelings when talking to the provider.
After narrowing the list down, visit each crèche and try to meet with the director. Again, ask some of the more important questions and take notice of how they are answered. Did the director seem open and honest? Did you get a good feeling?
After your visits to the crèches, you will be able to narrow down your list considerably. Now it’s time to check references. It’s acceptable to ask each crèche for a list of references. Parents who are currently using the crèche are usually open to providing their opinions.
Finally, it’s a great idea to bring your child into the crèche for a visit. After all, the most important thing is that your child is happy with the chosen care giver. You need to see how your child interacts with the staff and the other children and that they are comfortable in the environment.