Choosing the best day care for your baby can be a tough process and will probably involve some compromises. These tips should help make the choice a little easier:
- Aim for the best you can afford — this is one thing you don't want to skimp on.
- Don't choose by reputation alone: visit, watch, and ask questions (and make sure all those questions are answered to your satisfaction!).
- Spend enough time at each setting to be sure you're comfortable with your final choice; don't be afraid to linger.
- Find out whether each facility is licensed and what training the provider has in early childhood development.
- Do the caregiver-to-baby math: Infant care should have no more than four babies per care provider.
Get more guidance on evaluating day care options.
Establish Emergency Procedures
Aside from learning your baby's feeding, sleeping, and playing routines, your caregiver also needs to know how to handle emergencies. Be sure to:
- Make a list of the procedures you would follow in a medical emergency and give it to your day care provider.
- Give all care providers the names and numbers of the hospital and your child's doctor.
- Have emergency numbers posted by each telephone (at home and at the care setting).
- Make sure your child care providers have CPR and first aid training.
- Give your provider written permission to initiate medical care in case of an emergency.