The thought of finding childcare can be overwhelming. How do you choose? Would they love my child and make sure all their needs are met? Would they protect my child? Is the Childcare center safe? Are the teachers and staff highly trained? These are a few valid questions when searching for quality childcare. When searching for quality childcare you want to make sure all the needs of your family are met. This process is not easy but it will be so worth it. Choosing a good program requires devoted time and patience. Here are a few tips to help
- Start Early: Making sure you plan well enough in advance and determine what setting you would like your child to be in. Compare Center base programs to Family Childcare homes.
- Get Educated and Make the call: Learn the basic health and safety requirements and learn the state’s specific regulations. Review inspection and complaint histories. North Carolina it is located under each childcare facility on Division of Child Development and Early Education website www.ncchildcare.ncdhhs.gov. Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral for assistance. Cumberland County you can contact Partnership for Children of Cumberland County. www.ccpfc.org
- Plan a Visit: During this visit ask questions write down all your pros and cons of the visit. Print the following checklist for each visit. https://www.childcare.gov/consumer-education/selecting-a-child-care-program-visiting-and-asking-questions
- Make a choice: What did you see? What stood out to you that made you feel this place was the one? Make the right choice based on your values and needs
- Stay involved: The work isn’t done! Here are some ways to be involved:
- Have meetings with your provider regularly, and ask questions.
- Share information about your child with your provider, including updates on what happens at home.
- Visit regularly, including surprise visits from time to time.
- Share suggestions and concerns with your child’s provider or the director or owner of the program.
- Volunteer when needed. This can include helping out in the program or signing up for a leadership role.
- Visit your child at child care and read a book aloud.
- Join in special events, like field trips, career day, Black History Month, and other holidays.
- Work together with your provider on your child’s learning plan. Look for ways to support learning at home and at child care.
These are not easy choices and it takes time. You may go through a few until you find the perfect fit. If you are looking for childcare locally please reach out to us at Partnership for Children of Cumberland County. We offer a free, online child care search tool that can help you find a high-quality, licensed provider. Parents searching for child care, Head Start, NC Pre-K or preschool, call: 1-877-230-3024 toll free.
Partnership for Children of Cumberland County
Division Administrator for Provider Services