Finding childcare in a new city can be an overwhelming task. The cost alone is something to think about especially as different states have different wages.
Making sure the place you choose is safe and a correct fit for you and your child is extremely important so to help you prepare for such a step, we talked to the experts and have some tips to easy your transition.
Start Your Search Close to Home
Barbara Harvey, Executive Director of Parents, Teachers and Advocates, says that if you’re relocating due to a job, your new employer may be able to help you. Sometimes companies’ Human Resources department has information on the most notable childcare center, reviews or what other employees use.
Along those lines, you can also search the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for centers they accredit.
The NAEYC defines professional standards for those working in the childcare field and certifies education centers that provide service for children ages eight and under. They also certify post-secondary programs for those studying to enter the field.
The centers listed are considered to be in the top 2% of the nation.
Harvey says that there are other options where you can do some research before you actually move. United Way has their 2-1-1 service in most cities. You may also search by city for what they recommend on their website.
“All states have an office which oversees and accredits the licensed childcare in the state. Their website should have a list of Centers. Search ‘Early Learning Office’ and the name of the State,” says Harvey.
Old Fashion Referrals
Of course, if you know trustworthy people in the new city, you can just ask them if they have any recommended childcare providers.
If you don’t have those resources, once you arrive in the city, you can attend parent events in your neighborhood or area and ask those parents what they recommend. Then do some additional research about those places to find other reviews and more information.
Once You Find a Place
Pay Them a Visit
Once you select a place, don’t hesitate to drop in at odd hours like mid-morning, mid-day, before map time or mid-afternoon when they are not expecting anyone. Sticking around to observe for an hour or two can show you how the facility works and you can see if the place truly seems to be a fit.
Ask Your Child About it
One of the most important things to do after your child has been attending the new facility (if they’re older children) is to ask about their day/experience.
Remember to ask on a regular basis what they like or dislike and pay close attention to make sure nothing inappropriate has happened. Children generally will tell you if you remain open to listening and appear matter-of-fact about such topics.