How to Choose a Childcare Provider

At Children’s Discovery Center, we understand firsthand the importance of choosing a quality childcare provider that matches the needs of you and your family. With so many options available, it can be hard to determine which care center is best suited for your little one’s unique needs. To make the process easier, here are some tips for finding the best provider for your child.

Identify What Type of Child Care Provider You Are Looking For

Child care encompasses more than just daycare centers. Depending on the age group and your location, there are many different types of providers to choose from.

Daycare serves as an institution to take care of your younger children during the day in a larger group setting. These centers have their own facilities with many different activities to keep your child entertained. It is important to note that many daycares are not education-based and are centered around watching your children rather than teaching them.

Preschool is a form of school for children ages three to five, providing them with an early education before heading to grade school. These centers combine educational resources and fun activities to create an engaging learning environment for your child.

Home-based care is daycare operated out of a home. These providers host individual care or small group care with the perks of a daycare but in a home-based setting. 

Nursery school is most comparable to preschool but with less academic focus. 

After-school programs are designed to take care of your children after the school day is over. Ages range from elementary to middle school, hosting students at the school or a nearby facility. 

After looking over the offerings of each provider, you will be able to narrow down exactly what you are looking for to then research specific centers in the area. 

Research is Key

Before contacting a care center, it is important to do your own research about providers in your area. By discovering nearby options, you will have a clear idea of what centers you want to explore. Research includes:

  • Searching local providers on the internet 
  • Word of mouth from trusted friends and family
  • Your pediatrician and family doctor 
  • Looking for credentials and licensing 

When it comes to credentials and licensing, look for official licensing provided by the state, qualifying the childcare provider as a reliable center. Overall, these trusted resources will keep you on track to finding the best fit for your family.

Schedule Tours

Just like a college tour, touring a care center can help you determine if you can see you and your child enjoying the program. From meeting the staff, shadowing classrooms, and getting an overall feel for what the center is like, tours give you a firsthand look at what the care provider is all about. Another way to analyze if the daycare center is the right fit is by stopping by unannounced. A surprise visit can reveal if the center is consistent in its care outside of scheduled tours. 

Speak with the staff and current members

Once you have established a strong interest in a childcare provider, setting up meetings with the staff is a great way to get to know the people behind the center. Not only is this an opportunity to build trusted relationships, but to hear how they are passionate about what they do. 

Another excellent resource to figure out if the provider is the right fit is by contacting current members. Speaking with parents who are a few steps ahead in the process and are well acquainted with the provider can give you a reliable lens into testimonials and experiences with the center. 

Care centers that exist for you 

Here at Children’s Discovery Center, we know how important it is to find the right fit for your child. Just as you put your children first, so does our staff, with each at the heart and soul of what we do. With an experience-based learning approach incorporating the Reggio Emilia philosophy, our centers offer many incredible resources to engage your child in learning activities as they grow into bright individuals. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule a visit to our state-of-the-art discovery centers.