hi, I’m Cierra and I was born and raised right here in Saskatoon. I am a brand new mom to a beautiful baby girl, a loving wife, budding entrepreneur, and lover of all things girly. I believe that life is exactly what you make it, love conquers all, and to never stop learning. I love coffee, make-up, home décor, DIYing and reality TV (guilty pleasure okay!). Through my posts on the blog, I hope to tell a story and speak on topics that people can relate to, even if they aren’t widely talked about or discussed. Since I am a brand new mom, every day is something new for me. So let’s learn together and build each other up, because let’s face it, this mom thing is hard and we need all the help we can get! To continue keeping up with me off the blog, follow me on Instagram @Ciierrajade.
Okay, the time has come. Your maternity leave is ending, and it is time to head back to work. But before you can do that, you must find daycare for that beautiful bundle of joy you are used to spending every day with. This is something I am currently going though, and let me tell you, I didn’t think it would be this hard! Just the thought of someone other then myself, my husband or one of our family members watching our daughter sends me into a panic! However, in many families, it is something that has to be done. You want to start your daycare search approximately 4-6 months ahead of the time that you need it. I find good places to look for daycares is on local mom groups, Facebook groups, Kijiji listings, recommendations from friends/family etc. Once you find a provider that you think may fit, always schedule an in-person interview with them and come prepared with questions. If you can, schedule the interview at a time when the daycare is in full swing so that you can see how the provider interacts with the children, and how the children interact with one another. I decided to reach out to some fellow moms who have already gone through the whole daycare process to see what questions/requirements they find most important. Here is a list of what they had to say:
- Credentials – How long have they been in business? Do they have any specific training with children? Get to know their story and how they came to do what they do.
- Criminal Record Check – you always want to ensure that the provider you are considering has had a criminal record check completed recently (generally within the last 6 months). To add to this, you want to ensure anyone else that may help look after your child has one on file to. Ex) a spouse, friend, etc.
- CPR Certification – This is a MUST. You want to ensure that when your child(ren) is in their care, should an emergency arise, they can provide first aid until a medical professional can attend. At least one adult on duty should have current CPR/First Aid training.
- References – it is always a good idea to ask the provider for references from other parents that have their child(ren) under their care. You can cross reference any information they may be giving you in the interview to the parents’ experience at the daycare.
- Tax Receipts – for many individuals’ daycare is a tax write-off, and also helps to reinforce the fact that they are operating under an actual business, since they will have a paper trail of their income from your receipts.
- Discipline policy/method – All parents have their own idea of what discipline looks like to them. It is best to find a daycare that has the same model and beliefs as you to avoid any issues in the future.
- Outdoor time – Spending time outdoors is great for kids. Do they have resources in their own yard to entertain the kids? Do they make trips to a local park?
- Transportation – will they be using a vehicle to transport your child(ren) anywhere? If so, do they have proper and valid car seats? Do you need to provide your own?
- Daily Routine – what does a typical day look like? Is there a lot of structure? What activities do they typically do? Any type of education provided? TV time?
- Supplies – Do you need to provide diapers and wipes? Do they allow cloth diapering? Is their anything else that you should bring?
- Naptime – Are naptimes scheduled for certain times or when your child needs it? If you have a strict sleeping schedule set out for your child, will they abide by that? Where do naps take place? How many children to a room? Do they have working monitors for each child? Do they know safe sleeping practices (put babies on their back, no toys/blankets in crib before one, etc.)
- Meals/Snacks – What does a typical menu look like? Are they allergy friendly? Do you need to provide anything?
- Illness Policy – At what point of sickness are you to keep your child at home. Some daycares will not except your child at daycare even with the slightest cough, where others will have them until they get a fever. This is important to know so that you can ensure your work schedule is flexible enough for their policy. If the provider has children and they get sick, what is their policy? Will they administer medications if necessary?
- Vacation/Time Off – If your provider is taking time off, how much notice do they provide you? Do you still need to pay the regular daycare fees when they are on holidays? If you plan to take a holiday, how much notice do you need to provide? Will you need to pay during child’s absence?
- Back-up Care – do they have someone in place to care for your child during their sick leave or vacation time or is it up to you to make alternate arrangements?
- Cleaning products/procedures – what types of products do they use and what does their cleaning schedule look like? For some parents it is important that only green chemicals may be used.
- Other children – How many other children are under their care? What are their ages? What are their personalities/temperament like?
- Smoking and Pets – do they smoke in our outside of the home? Do they have pets? Will they be around the children unattended?
- Hazard Control – Check to ensure that they have cords away, electrical covers on the outlets, baby gates in place.
- Communication – Do they keep any type of reporting for things such as incidents, accidents, etc. Will you be able to reach them by text/phone call during the day to check in?
- Pickup/Drop off times – Ensure these times mesh well with your work schedule. Are they flexible at all in case of a delay at work or traffic? Is there a late pick-up fee?
- Rates – What do they charge daily/monthly? How do they receive payment? What type of deposit do you need to put down to hold your spot?
At the end of the day, no one will be as great as caring for out babies as us. BUT there are some EXCELLENT care providers out there that do a wonderful job in helping our children learn and grow each day. With these questions that I have provided, I hope that you are able to make the best informed decision for you and your family about daycare for your child. If you have any other questions to add, leave them in the comments below! I would love to add them to my list.