How to Choose the Right Day Care As a Single Parent?

When looking for day care for your three-year-old, don’t wait for the week before you need the day care to research and look around. Do your research weeks in advance irrespective of whether it is in someone else’s home or in a child care center. Find out who you have to call and begin by contacting local experts such as the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) for facts about child care and a list of options in your area which may suit your needs.

Ask the CCR&R what the licensing requirements are in your area, how you can get information about complaints and licensing violations, and whether your family qualifies for any child care financial assistance. It is important that you ask questions as you want peace of mind when you are at work.

Questions to Ask:

  • Find out how many children are there for each adult. Fewer children mean more attention for your child. You don’t want a day care with twenty children and only two adults.
  • Find out the caregiver’s training and education. Are they just babysitters, or caregivers with degrees and special training? Are they involved in activities? Do they attend classes and workshops? It is important that you find this out. Call some of the references. Don’t just rely on what the caregiver tells you. It is your child and you want the best care for him or her. You don’t want to worry when you are at work.
  • Find out how long caregivers have been at their previous jobs. You don’t want your child to be subjected to an array of caregivers as it will have an impact on your child.
  • Speak to family members and friends and see where their young children are during the day and what the day care facilities are like.
  • If there is more than one day care in your vicinity, check all of them and make a list of the benefits of each. In other words, which caregiver appears friendlier to your child and how does your child respond? Which day care is closer to your house and more convenient?
  • Ask for a reference and call the family where the caregiver has worked previously. We have all heard about caregivers who abuse children. Have some kind of camera surveillance in the house which is in plain view for everyone to see.
  • If you have made a decision to have the caregiver in your house with your child, sit her down and give her a typed list of instructions that she can look at and go over it with her regarding your rules on nap time, feeding, and other things.
  • Find out if she has been accredited by a national organization. Remember that no matter how accredited she is, if she does not have patience and does not know how to interact with a child, think twice before engaging her. Surveillance in your house can be easily explained to her as a method of crime prevention, and you will be able to hear from the tapes if your child is crying all day long. It is important you get the right day care as a single parent.


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