Whether you are considering a commercial day care center or one in someone's home, you should check it out carefully. Ask questions of the staff. Talk to parents of other children at the day care center. Look over the center carefully. This handout gives you a list of questions to get started.
A big question for anyone going back to work is, "Who will take care of my children?" Finding good child care takes time and thought. Parents need to think about the types of child care programs, what good child care is and which arrangement best meets their needs.
From the National Association of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies. This website also includes a child care connector, and extensive information about choosing a child care provider, licensing and accreditation, and other helpful tools and resources. Also available in Spanish.
Approach your daycare search as you would a job hunt. Be thorough, do your homework, and start your quest early — six months before you'll need it isn't too soon, especially if you live in a large city where daycare slots fill up faster than subway cars during rush hour. Once you find a promising daycare center or home daycare, you'll need to take a few steps to make sure it's one you want to stick with. We've outlined the process for you below.