Choosing Day Care Centers
More and more in today’s world both parents have employment and need suitable day care centers for their children. These early stages in a child’s life are very important to their growth and development. Choosing a good child day care center is vital, one where the adult won’t just plunk your children down in front of a soap opera all day and feed them Top Ramen. You should look for day care centers that provide learning programs and playtime for your child, along with a safe and healthy environment.
There are many different types of day care centers, ranging from basic nurseries to preschools that will provide more of a learning environment for your children. Some day care centers specialize in a specific age range, while others are more open. When you’re contemplating placing your child in a specific day care center, you should visit each one with your child. In this way, you can see how your child reacts to the other children who are there and to the caregiver. You want your child to be happy and comfortable.
While some day care centers provide a greater variety of activities than others, any good day care center is going to encourage positive interaction among all of the children. They will also have rules that promote good behavior, learning, manners, and child development. You certainly don’t want to have to worry that your child is going to develop bad habits from day care.
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While you don’t need to go overboard in choosing suitable day care centers, you should approach the subject seriously and with thought. Your child is going to be spending a good-sized portion of his or her life in day cares and you want to make sure it is going to be a positive experience. Family is the most important thing in the world and you should make sure that your children are your first priority.
When you are considering a day care center, you should look at where it is located and how much it costs. There’s not much sense in putting your son or daughter in daycare so that you can work full time and spending most of what you earn on the day care center’s tuitions and your travel expenses. If that’s the case, you might as well stay home with your child. However, if you do truly need the money, there are usually plenty of day care services available and it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one close by that is reasonably priced.
Different Kinds of Child day Care Centers
While child day care centers are common, there is such a huge demand for this service that there are now quite a variety of options available other than basic day care. These include the following:
- Home child care or family childcare
- Child care services
Home child care tends to be the most popular option because it is generally more affordable and a smaller environment. While some day care centers are quite large and can provide better early childhood education, it is also more difficult for each child to receive personal attention. Day care centers that are based out of someone’s home are usually more personal and your child can receive more care and nurturing. Most parents want their children to be receiving love and affection, the care that they themselves would give them. They don’t want a day care business that is merely going to make sure that their child is still alive and adequately healthy.
Home child care providers are also more adaptable, generally speaking. This means that if your child likes a certain song sung to them before they take their nap each day, the home care provider is more likely to be willing to do that than someone in a larger day care facility. Most adult home child care providers are parents themselves, making them better able to understand and love your child.
Other Things to Think About
One of the first steps you should take after picking out a family day care center that you think will be suitable for your child is do a little investigating. This can involve talking to the parents of the other children that use the child day care center to see what they think about it. You should also always check to make sure the child care service you are considering is legally licensed to operate in your state. Licensing officials check criminal records and ensure that the child care provider has emergency response training and a safe and healthy environment for the children.
As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to visit the child day care center that you are considering. You should do this at least a couple of times, and try to go at different times of the day so that you can get a better idea of what kind of schedule they have. This will help you to see how your own child would fit in.
If you are having difficulties finding the appropriate child care environment for your son or daughter, there are some other options. Some people get family and friends to help out, while others hire a nanny. Adult nannies are a good option because they ensure that your child receives personal attention and quality child care. However, this also means that your child will not receive as much social interaction since he or she won’t have other children to play with like in a family day care center.
No matter what option you decide to go with, make sure that you know who you are leaving your child with. Meet them, get to know them, and let your child do the same. Do some research on the internet to make sure that no one has had negative experiences with the day care center you are considering. Check to make sure that they are legally licensed. Once you have done all of this, you can feel more confident and secure in knowing that you have chosen the right day care center for your child.
Choosing Another Child Care Provider
So you want to switch day care providers for your kids but you don’t know where to start or what to choose among the plethora of options out there in this world. It is fittingly one of the most important decisions of a young parent’s journey due to the fact that a child’s first formative years up until the age of six is critical. It is important for parents to not just consider the monetary impact of these choices but also the emotional, intellectual, and social future impacts the choice of a day care provider will have on their kids in the long term future. So let’s discuss some general tips to consider for the parent and the child to consider when one is looking to switch day care providers within a short time frame.
First, you must consider the cost of attending some of the more prestigious and rigorous day care provider centers in your area. In some areas, let’s face the reality that the more money per month per child spent; the better the facilities and the educational value experience offered for your child. Things such as using smart boards and I Pad’s to enhance the learning experience is a very real possibility in these places. However, if a parent is budget conscious they can still afford this experience but it would mean cutting back on all or most non-necessity spending. This would include curbing your eating out habits as well as any leisure entertainment or travel activity and place that money instead into your child’s future day care home. If an expensive day care sees that you are making an effort to keep up with the payments; then they will be more willing to work with you and not let your child leave that place. For a child going to this environment, they need to consider whether or not they will fit into this environment, things like playtime, feeding time, and individual care of the staff- is it received well by the child? These will make the difference between choosing these ones or a cheaper alternative. Cheaper is not all bad if the quality and availability of care is there for your child in the first place.
Secondly, you need to consider your travel times and distance of day care relative to your work and other important places like the hospital, grocery store, bank, and places that you frequent on a daily basis. Is it near enough that you can get to your child should he/she become ill or need special attention so that the day care center can contact you and arrange a meeting with you the same day if needed.
Furthermore, you need to consider the overall cleanliness and friendliness of the day care center provider. Do not underestimate a clean environment for your kid to play and learn in with other kids. Your kid will enjoy making new friends in a clean and safe environment. Plus you as a parent will enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your child will not be being home any unwanted germs and diseases into your house. Parents must also consider if there is a dispute over payment and care; how does the management and staff deal with such requests? If there is a lackadaisical approach to your core issues; then that is a bad prelude of things to come concerning your child’s care. Your child will probably feel like he/she is being neglected or not fed on time and will start to complain to you ever so slightly that something is not right. When they do, do not hesitate to take them out of that day care center and find another one immediately.
In a recessionary economy, it is okay and permissible for both parents and kids to demand the best care for their dollar. Make your day care dollar stretch by reading all of the material and brochures and visiting every day center on your list until you find that perfect fit for your child. It’s out there; it is just waiting on you to find it!
One of the most frustrating aspects of being a working citizen is not having the ability to afford childcare. The majority of day care facilities charge as much as $300 per week for each child. That amount is difficult for middle-class citizens to pay. Low-income families cannot fathom paying such an expense. Luckily, the government and the various states have developed programs that help low-income families get the childcare they deserve. The following is some information on those programs:
Extended Day Program
The extended day program can assist low-income working parents during the regular school year. Many school districts offer this program. The school keeps children before and after school hours for a small monthly fee. A parent can drop a child off as early as 7:00 a.m. and pick the child up as late as 6:00 p.m. This program is excellent for low-income workers with daytime weekday jobs. The cost is approximately $150 per month for before and after school. The weekly rate is approximately $37.50, which is extremely competitive.
The attendants participate in various activities with the children before and after school. They help the children with their homework so that the parents have less stress when they come home from work. They give the children a full breakfast in the morning program and a snack in the evening program. Parents can opt to pay for the morning program only, the evening program only, or both programs. The evening program is the more expensive of the two because it lasts so many hours after the school releases the children. The evening program is $100 while the morning program is $52.
The Child Care Assistance Program
CCAP is a special program that provides childcare assistance to certain low-income families. People who are collecting TANF are automatically eligible to receive this assistance. Teenage parents who are working on obtaining their educations are also eligible for CCAP. Those who are not collecting TANF can still qualify if they are pursuing education that will improve their work skills and job opportunities. Parents can apply for CCAP assistance with the Department of Children & Family Services. The financial guidelines for qualification are along the lines of a $3,000 per month income threshold for a four-person family. The applicant must have proof of income, social security cards, birth certificates, and immunization records for all children. Application processing can take up to 30 days.
Head start is a program for children between the ages of three and five. The program provides childcare services and medical services to the children who qualify. It is funded by the Administration of Children’s Services. The Head Start program covers childcare from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Teachers work with the children to fine-tune their social and developmental skills. Those who are interested in the program may apply online. Applicants go on a waitlist until there is an available slot in the program. It is best for an interested person to complete an application as quickly as possible since the wait may be extended.
Child Care Voucher Program
The Child Care Voucher Program is in effect in many states throughout the United States. It provides a subsidy of up to 95 percent of childcare cost to low-income families. Subsidy recipients will choose an eligible provider from the list of licensed providers. They may also select a relative or an in-home provider. The Child Care Voucher Program covers the childcare from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. This is known as the traditional childcare period. However, the program also covers non-traditional times for parents who work odd shifts. It covers nights, weekends, and evenings.
A wide variety of options is available for low-income childcare. Many stay-at-home moms also run small day care businesses in which they discount their services. There is a way to make working and taking care of your children affordable.