When should you start your daycare search and what do you need in a program for infants? Being pregnant shouldn't stop you from visiting potential childcare centers. If full-time baby care enrollment is on your pre-due date to-do list, take a look at what you need to know about searching for daycare during your pregnancy.
Can You Search for Infant Care Before You Have Your Baby?
Yes, you can start the search process before your baby's birthday. Even though you don't have the information necessary to complete a full-time infant care registration form or file yet (such as your baby's birth date or vaccination records), you can start looking for the just-right center during your pregnancy.
It can take time to find the best baby care available in your local area. This means the earlier you start your search, the better. Not only can the search process take time, but you may also find that the best centers have waiting lists for spaces in the infant room. It could take months for a space to open. If you wait until your baby is here and you're ready to return to work, it's possible that you will have to find an alternative care arrangement until there is a spot available. An early search reduces the chances of this happening.
What Should You Look for In A Center?
As a first-time parent, you may not know what to look for in infant daycare. Before you start your search, take some time to learn more about what types of care are available and what an infant early childhood classroom should feature. When you visit centers and talk to the daycare's director or staff members, consider:
- Your personal preferences. What is important to you considering infant care? Do you have a specific type of care or educational philosophy (such as Montessori) that is meaningful to you or your family?
- The teachers and staff. Who will care for your infant? Ask about the staff members' qualifications, education, and experience. The teachers should have a background in early childhood development or a similar area and experience working with infants.
- Schedules and drop-off/pick-up options. What does the daily schedule look like? Does it match your home schedule (in terms of naps and feeding times)? Do the full-time drop-off and pick-up options match your workday needs?
Along with these points, ask about the overall curriculum, what types of activities your child will try as they grow and develop, and how much you can expect to pay for full-time care.Share