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If you are a working parent, you may need to consider daycare for your infant. Although this may be a daunting and overwhelming task, there are several things you can consider to help you along the way. For instance, some of the broad factors to consider include safety, personal attention for your child, interactions with other children, cost, and location. It is important to start the daycare search early, as it may take some time to find one that fits your desires and situation.

What You Need to Know About Daycare

Many parents work outside the home and need to create a daycare plan for their little ones. If you are one of those parents and are researching the available daycare options in your area, there are a number of factors that you should consider.
The broad factors that will guide your search may include:
  • Safety
  • Personal attention for your child
  • Interactions with other children
  • Cost
  • Location.
And remember that it can take time to find the best option for your infant. So, start the search process early. Many women begin looking for daycare options during pregnancy. This is because infant options can definitely be limited within the community.

Researching Daycare Centers Versus Daycare Providers

One of the questions that parents will ask themselves is, "Do I want to have my infant with a daycare provider or in a daycare center?"
If you are researching daycare centers, here are a few questions to get you started:
  • Are they licensed? If so, by whom?
  • What are the daycare center's days and hours of operation?
  • What are the costs involved? Are there additional fees?
  • Where are they located in relation to my home and workplace?
  • What are the staff qualifications?
  • What is the staff-to-child ratio?
  • Do the younger and older children play together?
  • Are there individual cribs for each infant?
  • What hiring methods are used by the daycare centers? Do they require references, background checks, etc.?
  • Are the daycare centers clean and safe? Are toys sanitized daily?
  • What kind of activities and learning opportunities are offered? What are the discipline methods used by the daycare providers?
  • Of the daycare centers available to you, are they accepting new children? In your child's age group?
  • Is toilet training a requirement?
(Click Daycare Providers for a list of questions to ask individuals you may be considering for daycare.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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