Nowadays, parents in the Toronto, Vaughan, Thornhill and Richmond Hill areas are fortunate that there are so many options for childcare. Home daycare, daycare centers, nannies and private babysitters are becoming more and more common for busy parents. If you’re reading this, chances are that you have to make a decision about what’s the best fit for your family, but that decision can be a bit overwhelming. There are several factors that parents should consider when choosing whether daycare is right for their kids.
There are a few things all parents should think about when they are deciding what kind of care to choose. Taking the time to consider all of these factors will ultimately lead you to the best choice.
- Start Researching Early: It doesn’t matter what type of care you choose, they all take a significant amount of time to research if you hope to choose the right one. If you do choose daycare, many of the best programs are often full so it’s important to get on waiting lists as soon as possible.
- Budget: All parents want the best for their kids, but the trendy, organic daycare center may just simply be out of your budget, and that’s ok. There are lots of options for every budget. Also check with local childcare services to see if there are any financial assistance programs available to your family.
- Time: Do you need a full day of care or just part time? How much flexibility do you need to have with pick-up and drop off? Some daycare centers have very strict policies on pick-up and drop off times so it’s important to check on the policies for every daycare
- Licensed or Unlicensed: In Canada, if you do opt for daycare, look at the differences between licensed home daycare and unlicensed home daycare. In a nutshell, licensed home daycare allows for larger groups and regular check in by Child Services. Unlicensed providers can have up to 5 children and are not subject to regular check-ins, unless there is a complaint.
- Curriculum: Whether you choose private childcare or daycare, decide what you want your child to be getting out of their days. The best daycare providers can give you lesson plans for each day of the week and explain why they are doing certain activities. Private caregivers and nannies can customize day plans to your exact specifications. Think about a typical day for your kid and set some basic expectations.
- Are You Ready? As a parent, your needs are often overlooked when deciding if daycare is right for your child. Some working parents don’t have any other options, but if you do, make sure that you check in with your own feelings to ensure that you’re ready to hand over the reins to someone else for part of the day.
Daycare is a wonderful option for many families and if you take some of these factors into consideration when you’re making your decision, yours will be no different.