Please review Steps 1-4 at the links below:
Step 1: Define Your Perfect Situation
Step 2: Set Up a Tour
Step 3: The Interview
Step 4: Enroll Your Child
Step 5: Evaluating Your Child Care Program
You have done your homework, identified the perfect child care situation, interviewed multiple care providers and placed your child in a program. Now it's time to evaluate your decision and confirm that it's the best choice for your child.
The very first indicator of the quality of your choice is your gut feeling. Don't underestimate that comfortable ease or bad feeling that you have when you pick up your child. You may not be able to put your finger on the reason why you feel the way you do but it's important to honor your instinct.
There are a series of other indicators of the quality of your choice that can be more easily quantified than gut feeling. The following list will help you rate your experiences.
Webcams: You can never be exactly sure about what is happening when you are away from your child but being able to see them on a webcam can help. If you chose a care provider that offers webcams this is an option to help ease your mind.
Daily Reports: Your child care provider should be providing you with regular information about what your child did each day. Daily reports should include what, when, and how much your child ate, slept, and went to the bathroom during the day. For a 9-10 hour day I would expect 2 large meals and a few snacks throughout the day. I would also expect 3-4 diaper changes and at least 1 nap. Daily reports should include any special activities that your child participated in as well as any unusual circumstances such as diaper rash or a biting incident.
At Fremont Kid's Academy we use an application that creates a beautiful emailed report that outlines all of the information listed above. Here's an example of what our daily reports look like:
Your Child's Daily report - June 27, 2013
- 11:24AM – 1:02PM
- 9:03 AM - Scrambled eggs and toast. Milk to drink
- 11:05 AM - Blueberries, apples, plain yogurt, milk, and water
- 1:08 PM - Chicken, brown rice and mixed veggies, water
- 5:03 PM - Wheat crackers, mixed fruit and water to drink
- 8:31AM - potty - Pee
- 11:03AM - diaper - Wet
- 1:07PM - diaper - Wet
- 3:19PM - potty - Tried
- 4:58PM - diaper - Wet
Curriculum: As your child gets older you want to be sure that they are being prepared for entry into public or private school. Your child care provider should be communicating with you about any assessments they have planned for your child and any results they have obtained. You should be able to clearly see an outline for how the provider plans to prepare your child for school.
Invoicing: Each time you pay for child care you have an opportunity to take advantage of tax savings. The child care tax credit can help reduce your taxes and save you money. For more information visit the article belowhttp://www.fremontkidsacademy.com/1/post/2013/04/child-care-tax-credit.html
Your child care provider should give you a receipt for payment that you can submit to your tax professional. At the end of year you should also receive summary report for all the payments you've made.
Finding quality child care is not an easy process but if you approach it systematically as well as allowing your instincts to guide you, it can be done right the first time and you will find that you have created a relationship with a care provider that will last a life time.