Finding the Right Child Care Provider
Published on October 17, 2016 by arothstein
For students with children, finding child care can be extremely difficult. Thankfully, the online programs at BVU allow courses to be completed online. Some courses, however, may need to be completed in person or may have externship requirements. In those cases, you may need to find child care. Here are several things to consider as you look for the right child care provider:
- Use a licensed provider.
Each state has a licensing process that child care providers are required to follow to obtain the necessary credentials to watch children. This process ensures that the child care providers have had a criminal background check, have adequate facilities, have been trained in CPR and first aid, etc. You should contact your local department of social services or health and human services for more information. Do not take the provider’s word that they are licensed even if they show you copies of licenses. You should call and verify with the licensing board that their licenses are current and that no negative actions have been taken against them.
- Find someone through word of mouth when possible.
Reach out to friends and family members to identify someone that other people have used in the past and can vouch for personally. While this isn’t a sure-fire way to make sure that the person is right for you, it is a good place to start. Call and talk to the recommender directly instead of through another person to make sure that messages aren’t crossed and that you have the full picture of their experience with the provider.
- Make sure the provider is open to unannounced drop-ins.
While it makes sense that providers want children to remain engaged in activities and not be distracted by parent visits, any time a facility or home-based child care facility discourages parent visits, you should be concerned. If the facility offers live stream video recording or another method to allow you to check in on your child at will that may offer you the peace of mind that you need.
- Talk to your children about their experiences.
Even young children can give you information about their experiences at a child care facility. Ask them detailed questions about what they did each day when you pick them up. Ask them what happened generally, ask them the best thing that happened, ask them the worst thing that happened. If they get used to this questioning every day, they will become more aware during the day of things they may want to alert you to later.
- Talk with other parents.
Establish relationships with other parents. When you have concerns that you aren’t quite ready to approach the facility about, it can help to have another person to discuss the issue with. If other parents are voicing the same concerns, it can validate your feelings.
Finding the right child care provider is extremely important, and it can be an arduous task. Don’t hesitate to be picky. Visit as many facilities as necessary until you find the perfect fit for you and your child.
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