The search for your child’s education options and path is one that will take time and effort. Some might be well-equipped with research skills to look for the best infant child care for their soon-to-arrive bundle of joy. But some others are more restricted in their time and resources, hence the help they need in every step of the way. To ease things, this article tries to provide the most basic steps that every parent should do when they are finding the solution of infant child care when the baby finally arrives.
Step 1. Begin your search before or during the second trimester of pregnancy
Dads and moms, if the baby is in the second trimester, you are quite late but still have some valuable time left. Other parents out there start when… the baby is still with the stork. So now, you are at already at the threshold. Please prepare your pen and paper or open your laptop and a Word document.
Step 2. List down all infant child care center options nearest to home
On the paper, or the Word document, whichever one you prefer, make two big columns for infant child care centers and independent caregivers (nanny or babysitters). If you do not even care about the other one, do not strike it out just yet. It might prove to be useful in the end, when you are stuck one way or another.
Where is the resources you can refer to? Go straight to government websites easily found online where you can download a list of infant child care service providers based on the area where you live. You are very encouraged to look for near-to-home centers to avoid unnecessary challenges of commuting with an infant or toddler. You also do not want to tire them unnecessarily due to long hours of commute. Next, search for private infant child care centers, too. For this one, you can ask around from friends or other parents, or just hit the Internet and compare.
To find a babysitter or nanny, connect with other experienced mothers in your area. Since one out of ten infants stay in child care centers, it may mean that babysitters and nannies are still popular choice among parents. Take the babysitter or nanny’s contact details right away when you hear good word-of-mouth testimonials from other mothers.
Now both columns are filled with names and contact details. Be ready for the next journey.
Step 3. Visit each infant child care center based on priority
This can be any moms and dads’ most favourite step. Make time to visit each infant child care center and babysitter you shortlisted after Step No. 2. Maybe one or two each week until delivery of the baby, after you make a priority list. That way, if you do not have time to visit all of them, at least you have visited the most preferred.
You can also create some sort of private rating to give to these centres after each visit. Sort them out based on child care fee, types of activities, opening hours, caregivers and child ratio, meal options, distance from home, transportation service, etc. Then you can total up the rating points and make an informed decision.
Step 4. Make early reservations or registrations
Do not forget to make early reservations, especially if the child care center of your choice is highly sought after by other parents.
We hope that these steps will save you some time in the chaos of preparing for a new baby and a new chapter in life.