Choosing an Infant Daycare

Most women are able to stay at home with their newborn baby only for a few weeks once the baby has been delivered. This is because in today’s society, most families need two incomes. Therefore you are probably going to return to your work place and the thought of choosing an infant daycare is most likely creating some anxiety and fear for you… Here, I will try to help you with selecting an infant daycare.

There are a few things you will want to check first before looking for an infant daycare. You may not realize it but you actually do have several options to consider. First, you can find a family member to watch your baby. This means they can come to your home or you can take them to your family member’s home so you would not need an infant daycare. However, while having family available is a great option, and it can help ease your stress, not everyone has this option.

In this case, you could check the Department of Job and Family Services website and find out whom they offer as providers and infant daycare providers. These providers must go through training in order to open up their homes and the department monitors them. You may be able to get assistance paying for childcare if you use one of these providers as well.

And finally, you can look for area infant daycare centers near your home. They may be more expensive than your family or using a provider through DJFS but they may be your only option as far as infant daycare providers go. These locations often register through the state and you can verify credentials that way. Many of these workers also have degrees in child development so they can provide learning activities for your child while he or she is in an infant daycare.

When you go to check an infant daycare for the first time, see if you can examine the place (and especially the teachers) from the outside, before entering. (You will be surprised how different they may treat the children when there is no adult watching…). When you go back home, try asking yourself these questions: Do I trust the teacher in this infant daycare? Will I be able to leave my child here for the whole day? Do I believe that my child is going to be happy in this infant daycare? And of course, always trust your instincts…

A good infant daycare will…

  • Be clean and safe! Watch for dangerous “traps” , don’t be embarrassed to ask if the teachers are familiar with first aid assistant and what to do in case of a fire.
  • Include nice, educational activites for the children and a variety of toys and games.
  • Have a playground!
  • Have warm, loving, patient teachers…

Good luck!