When you're pregnant with your first child and know that you will only have a couple of months off for maternity leave, finding the perfect daycare center for your new baby is of utmost importance. You want to feel comfortable and confident entrusting your child in the care of another, so you will need to choose a daycare facility. Use the following tips to find the perfect daycare for your new baby:
Daycare centers can vary greatly in the quality of care that is provided, and spots in the most desirable daycare centers can fill up fast. Ideally, you should start looking at daycare centers as soon as you can; do not wait until your baby is born to try to secure quality childcare. Starting your search early will give you the time to visit several daycare centers and sign up for the waiting list if there is one.
Most states have laws that mandate that there is a certain number of caretakers to children. Some daycare centers choose to have a higher ratio of caregivers to babies, which ensures that the infants receive more personalized care. When touring daycare centers, make sure that you inquire about the ratio of caregivers to babies so you can choose the best center for your baby's needs.
Make Sure Your Philosophies Match
Every daycare center has their own policies and procedures, and not every one will be a good fit for you. Make sure you have an in-depth conversation with the director of the daycare center as well as the caregivers in the infant room. If you want your baby to fall asleep while being held, a daycare center that believes in sleep training during nap time won't be a good fit for you. Choosing a center that has similar ideas and values as you will work out a lot better than trying to feel comfortable with leaving your baby with people who have different philosophies than you.
Take Time to Observe
Before you sign a contract with a daycare center, don't be afraid to drop by unannounced so you can observe the caregivers in the infant room. This will give you the chance to get an idea of their routine and how they interact with the babies. Observing the infant room is a great way to find a daycare center that you know you can trust with the most precious thing in your life.