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Mom Trusted compiles a long list of daycare facilities and preschools near you. Then, you can find helpful information about each care center and even incorporates reviews by parents just like you.
If it is a half-day program, will that interfere with your job? Some preschools offer a built in care option so even half-day preschool programs work for fulltime working parents. Ask for the details and consider your options. Do you absolutely need a full day preschool program or can you take your child to childcare on your lunch break? Can you hire a nanny to watch he or she the second half of the day?
Do the providers have a long list of engaging and educational crafts, songs and games that they offer? If so, this is probably a great preschool pick! What curriculum are you using for letters and numbers? What is your teaching philosophy? These kinds of questions will give you a good idea if the preschool fits with your parenting style.
Preschools are becoming more and more competitive these days. They fill up quickly. Start shopping early and, if the one you have your heart set on is already full, ask if there’s a waiting list you can put your name on.
Simply fill in your zip code so we can start giving you local childcare options.
Filter your results so we can give you exactly what you’re looking for. Are you interested in a babysitter or nanny? A preschool or a daycare center? Do you mind an in-home child care service? Simply check any options you’d be open to and start narrowing down your options.
Scroll down below the map and see a more detailed list. Here, you can sort by all local childcare, those local daycare centers trusted by your friends, or all the child care providers your friends trust nationwide. Be sure to click “save” on the options you’re interested in to revisit later.
Dig even deeper by clicking on each daycare listing. Babysitter or nanny listings offer details about their availability, range of ages and number of children they’re willing to work with. Preschool listings also offer basic info, in addition to focusing on teaching philosophies.
After you’ve zoned in a on a few top day care choices, feel free to schedule a visit at the best local preschools. You can also request an info packet or call to set up an interview with a babysitter or nanny.
Childcare centers are usually larger chains geared toward children of all ages. There are many variations some of which include early education curriculum while others are strickly care centers. The term “child care” is also occasionally used to describe an overarching theme of the following terms.
Daycare is a place where parents can drop their children off to learn, have fun, and be supervised while they head to work or about other tasks. Daycares often offer care to a wide variety of ages and are interested in teaching children basic skills. Those that are focused on teaching, often stick to a one teaching philosophy.
Preschool programs’ main intention is education. With early education as a goal, preschools take on various early learning philosophies. Some start accepting children at age two and a half, but many parents wait to send their children to preschool until they’re three or four years old.
Taking advantage of in-home family daycare can often save money. Because these childcare services are run out of the care takers’ homes, they tend to cost less and be smaller in size, which means more one-on-one time for your little one.
Nannies are a great option for parents looking for part or fulltime care at their own homes. Nannies come to watch your children on a regular basis and become part of your child’s daily routine.
Babysitters are great options for a night out or a few hours during the day. Babysitters don’t typically come as often nannies and they are also generally less expensive.
Many states require childcare providers to pass licensing tests involving background and care standards. In addition to official licensing, what else are they trained in? Make sure the center’s workers are CPA certified with basic first aid skills.
A general rule of thumb: the lower childcare ratio, the better. The more teachers per children, the safer the environment and the more engaged the learning. For little ones under two years old, a 1:4 teacher to child ratio is considered good. For older children, a 1:12 ratio is more normal, but lower is always better.
What ages to kids still get naptime? How is it handled? Can you bring your own lovie (blanket or stuffed animal) to send along for your child’s nap?
Is the center so strict that every time they hear a sniffle, they send kids home? If so, how will this affect your job or other obligations? Are they too laidback about their illness policy and there are a bunch of sick kids running around, creating a germy environment? Make sure your child care center has solid but reasonable policies for sickness in the day care.
Most childcare and daycare centers have pretty concrete age ranges. Make sure, not only that your child fits into the range, but that there are other children their age too. Interacting with kids of similar ages is an important step in learning social skills and daycare is a great place to do it!
Do you need to pack a lunch or is lunch provided? What kinds of food and snacks are served? Do they have sample menus you can look at? Are food allergies taken into account? For infants, do they heat up breast milk or do you have to formula?
A low turnover rate means the staff members love their jobs. Happy workers mean more engaged, creative activities and a more positive atmosphere over all. Be sure to pay attention to how the caregivers talk to the children. Do they have patience with them? Are they trying to understand them? Are they getting down on the children’s level to communicate with them?
Make sure your nanny or babysitter-to-be has plenty of experience with children. Maybe they haven’t babysat before, but have they worked as a camp counselor or a teacher’s aide? In addition to having experience, ask about the ages they have worked with before. Even if they spent three summers at a children’s camp, working with 10-year-olds is a lot different than caring for an infant.
It’s important to know if the candidate will be able to keep your child safe in an emergency or trying situation. You can also ask if they’ve ever found themselves in a situation at a previous position where they had to use some of those skills.
It’s valuable to know why they’re interested in watching your child. Do they love kids? Do they have their own little brothers or sisters? If their answer is centered around their paycheck, they probably aren’t your best pick.
Does the candidate have a car? Will they use public transportation? Or do they have to rely on Mom or Dad for rides? If they do have a car, do they feel comfortable driving your kids? What is their driving record? Do they know (and have them demonstrate for you) how to properly install a seatbelt and buckle a child into it?
Ask your potential nanny or babysitter a few situational questions. These will help get an idea of how she handles various discipline issues, safety concerns and timing issues. Here are a few examples:
What do you think of the staff?
How do you feel about the types of activities the childcare facility provides?
What do you like best about the provider?
What would you change or do differently than this center?
How does the provider or staff handle stressful situations?