One of the most important choices you will make as a parent is deciding who will care for your child. It is best to not wait until the last minute as childcare spaces are in demand. It is also wise to arm yourself with the facts before making a decision.
Childcare: Biggest Mistakes
By Ann Douglas
Choosing someone to care for your child is a big responsibility one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. That's why it's important to avoid making any of the following all-too-common mistakes: Leaving your search until the last minute: Childcare spaces are in chronically short supply, so it pays to start your childcare search as soon as possible especially if you're looking for childcare for an infant. While you may still luck out and find the childcare arrangement of your dreams despite the fact that you have left your search until the last minute, you increase finding something suitable if you start looking a little sooner. As a rule of thumb, you should have your search well underway by the end of your second trimester of pregnancy. Of course, if you've got your heart set on finding a space for your child in a particular daycare center, you will want to get your name on the waiting list even earlier than that perhaps even as soon as your pregnancy test comes back positive.
Not understanding what makes for a good childcare arrangement: Most parents spend more time researching car purchases than they do in educating themselves about what makes for a good childcare arrangement. Before you start evaluating various childcare arrangements, you'll want to arm yourself with the facts. Find out what caregiver-child ratios are appropriate for children of various ages; what training childcare workers are required to have in your particular state; what health and safety features you should be looking for when you're evaluating a childcare center or home daycare; and what makes for a fun and stimulating childcare program.