These days, there is so much for new parents to worry about. With most families needing two incomes, few can afford for Mom or Dad to stay at home after having a child. Most have to go back to work and find someone else to care for their baby or youngster. For many, this is an emotional experience and a scary one, to boot!
So how can you find the best childcare? How do you look for this type of center without stressing yourself out, getting emotional and feeling overwhelmed? Unfortunately, you must go through something if you want to go back to work and keep bringing in your income.
The best way to start your search is to arm yourself with information. Knowing what to look for and how to find it can greatly reduce your stress and fear. It also helps you get ready for the next phase of your life as a working parent. At the same time, you can make the best decisions for your child’s development by finding the best possible childcare.
What is the difference between registered and unregistered daycare?
Registered day homes go through an accreditation process, whereas unregistered day homes do not. When accredited, the facility operates under an Alberta Government licensed agency called the Human Services Ministry. It is the responsibility of the HSM to monitor accredited day homes. In turn, these homes must follow strict regulations and guidelines for operation. These regulations govern supervision, discipline, safety and other aspects of caring for your child. For qualified families, some of these registered homes provide subsidized care.
When you place your child in an unregistered day home, there is no regulation, guideline or government supervision over that facility. The facility is unlicensed. Being unlicensed is not all negative, however. They can offer some advantages to your family, such as overnight care for children of nighttime workers. But they cannot offer subsidized care.
Important Features in a Childcare Center
Whenever you drop off your children at the childcare facility, you should feel a sense of peace and confidence. Your child should have toys, crafts, books and activities to look forward to, as well. Communication between you and the daycare provider should be clear and timely at all times. You should also see indicators of positive learning experiences for your little one, such as field trips, park visits and artwork. Your child should have comfort through a daily routine at the center, yet also have some exciting experiences to add to this routine. Prepared meals are also essential, such as through registered day home provision of meals and snacks according to the Canada Food Guide.
All in all, look for the following when considering childcare:
- Positive feeling
- Good communication
- Evidence of learning
- Positive routine
- Healthy meal plan
More than anything, your child should have fun and look forward to their daycare. Most children shed tears when being dropped off at this type of facility. But that does not necessarily indicate your child is unhappy with their experience there. Look for signs that your youngster enjoys playing with others in the day home and sometimes wants to stick around when you come to pick them up.
Always go with your gut feelings when it comes to your child’s care. You need to feel at ease and not regret leaving them for your own work fulfillment. Always pay attention to your intuition. Good luck in your search!