How to Pick an Out-of-Home Childcare Provider

How to Pick an Out-of-Home Childcare Provider

Whether you’ve just made to decision to put your child into childcare for the first time or you just need to move to a new provider this guide can help inform you to make the right decision on the care of your little ones.

Do your research:

Is the facility licensed?

Licensed facilities are required to meet certain standards that vary depending on where it is located.  Licensed daycare centers are regularly inspected to insure that these standards are maintained. An unlicensed facility may look acceptable but you cannot be sure that the facility is maintaining the proper paperwork on other children and has met the proper safety regulations that a licensed childcare provider is required to maintain. State licenses are there to keep your children safe, make sure you take advantage of them!

How’s the background of the facility?

Ask the provider for referrals but also make sure to do your own snooping. Look out for violations with the state licensing board. Don’t forget to look for complaints or compliments on review sites like Yelp or Google as well, they can be very insightful.

Visit the facility:

Is it clean?

Make sure to check the cleanliness of the environment. We’re not saying go through the place with a white glove and magnifying glass, but make sure to pay attention to your surroundings. It doesn’t have to be spotless because it is inevitable that children will make messes, but make sure that there is a balance between cleanliness and messiness. A facility that is too clean can be a sign that the provider is more focused on cleaning than the well being of your child.

How do the caregivers interact with you and your child?

day care provider with child

Are they more focused on talking to you or your child? The caregiver should be more focused on adjusting your child to the new environment and judging if your child will be a good fit in the facility. At the same time you should be judging their ability communicate with both you and your child. It is very important that you can speak  openly with your caregiver about any concerns you may have with your child.

Finding a quality childcare can difficult job but remember who you’re doing it for. In the end, you will find a safe and loving environment for the one you love the most and it will have all been worth the time and effort.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/
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