Finding an infant care services provider you can depend on is an important task. Lots of folks advertise their services, and you'll hear about plenty more from a friend of a friend. How do you actually choose someone to handle your family's infant care needs? Here are some pointers to help you figure that out.
Certification and Licensing
Operating places that aren't entirely on the up and up is a common practice, especially as people often look out for kids who belong to family members and friends. There are a couple of reasons why licensing and certification are important.
Foremost, you'll want to know your baby will be in a safe place. Familiarize yourself with your state's rules. Many states conducted unannounced inspections to verify that care provides offer spaces that are up to spec.
Secondly, it's hard to claim tax credits while using an unofficial provider. Working with a properly licensed or certified center will ensure that you can claim everything on your state and local taxes. The same goes for any subsidies that might be available. Given that every penny counts when you have a baby, that's a big deal.
Plenty of folks bounce their kids around among family members in order to fill gaps in their infant care requirements. When dealing with things like a work schedule or university classes, you can end up creating a very inconsistent environment for your baby.
Get to know the staff, and take the time to ask about turnover. You want to know your baby will be regularly interacting with the same people. By having one center and one team that you regularly go to, you can provide greater consistency and stability. This will allow your infant to develop social skills and form bonds.
The best location in the world doesn't have much value if its availability doesn't match your needs. Particularly for folks who work inconsistent shifts or hours, this can be challenging. Holidays may also pose problems. Make sure the place you want to take your infant to can accommodate your schedule.
It's worth taking the time and seeing the center in action. While babies might not be the most ambulatory creatures in the world, they still need lots of activity to feed their growing minds. See how the staff interacts with the kids, and don't hesitate to keep looking until you find folks who bring a nurturing attitude to these interactions.
Reach out to a company like Kids Country Club to learn more.