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How To Find the Right Child Care Provider

April 14, 2014
By
Original Author: Elizabeth Daley

Preschoolers-painting

Signing a child up for daycare is an exercise in trust.

Finding the right provider is rarely as simple as performing an Internet search, especially since complete information about California’s daycare providers is not yet available online. Facilities are required to be inspected only once every five years, leaving parents wondering if anything has changed in all that time.

Here are some helpful strategies to finding good childcare:

1)    Call or visit a childcare referral agency, it’s free! The agency can provide you with information about licensed nearby providers and help you learn what to look for when finding a provider. Call or visit a childcare referral agency, it’s free! The agency can provide you with information about licensed nearby providers and help you learn what to look for when finding a provider. To find a referral agency near you call 1.800.KIDS.793.

2)    Once you have recommendations, visit the facilities with your child. See how your child interacts with the other children and the providers. Check to see that the facility is safe and that there is someone on site with CPR and First Aid training. Ask about educational requirements, outdoor time and curriculum.

3)    If you like one or two facilities, call your local childcare referral agency and leave a message to have them call you back with information regarding one or two providers of your choice.

4)    If all goes well, your child will be enrolled in daycare! Check in with your child regularly and get to know other parents who also send their children to the same facility so that you can be aware of any incidents that may occur. Feel free to ask to see your facility’s records and call the California Department of Social Services regularly to see if any incidents have taken place.

5)    If anything does go wrong at daycare, be sure to report it and an inspection will be made.