Choosing the best day care

Selecting the right childcare setting is one of the most difficult and important tasks parents face.

Start your own child-care service : your step-by-step guide to success
Entrepreneur Press and Jacquelyn Lynn.
[Irvine, Calif.] : Entrepreneur Press/Jere L. Calmes, c2011.
Get Paid to Care for Kids! Do you enjoy working with children? Would you like to help lighten the load on busy moms and dads? With more and more parents needing help to care for their children, the market for child-care services is exploding. Whether you want to start a family-style child-care center in your home, a large center at a commercial site, or a niche business like child transportation, this guide can help you get started. Follow our experts as they take you step by step through the child-care industry, basic requirements and startup costs, day-to-day operations and so much more! Plus, gain priceless insight and tips from successful child-care service owners including how to conduct parent interviews, manage children's records and more. Learn how to: Discover your service offering within three common areas of interest--in-home center, commercial center, and child transportation services Establish hours, services, and policies Equip your center or vehicle to meet safety and health standards Create admission procedures including parent interviews and record requests Set and revise rates Create a support staff who will help you succeed Build referrals and get the word out Rewarding for you and for the kids you care for--get started today! Entrepreneur Press is a leading small to midsized business trade publisher, provides aspiring, emerging, and growing entrepreneurs with actionable solutions to every business challenge--ultimately, leading them from business idea to business success.
Nannies & au pairs : hiring in-home child care
Ilona Bray.
Berkeley, Calif. : Nolo, 2010.
Whether you've got a new baby, toddler, or grade-schooler, turning your child over to someone else is a big transition. How will you find a care giver you trust? How much will in-home care cost? Will you feel forced to pay under the table? And what's the difference between a nanny and an au pair, anyway?
The tragedy of child care in America
Edward Zigler, Katherine Marsland, and Heather Lord.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2009.
Why the United States has failed to establish a comprehensive high-quality child care program is the question at the center of this book. Edward Zigler has been intimately involved in this issue since the 1970s, and here he presents a firsthand history of the policy making and politics surrounding this important debate. nbsp; Good-quality child care supports cognitive, social, and emotional development, school readiness, and academic achievement. This book examines the history of child care policy since 1969, including the inside story of America’s one great attempt to create a comprehensive system of child care, its failure, and the lack of subsequent progress. Identifying specific issues that persist today, Zigler and his coauthors conclude with an agenda designed to lead us successfully toward quality care for America’s children.
Who's watching? : daily practices of surveillance among contemporary families
edited by Margaret K. Nelson and Anita Ilta Garey.
Nashville, Tenn. : Vanderbilt University Press, c2009.
US and Canadian sociologists, women's scholars, and other social scientists report from the overlap between surveillance studies and family sociology at the historical moment when individual and family privacy are being re-evaluated, and debates around individual rights and government and social good are more than usually contentious. They describe how other family members, neighbors, bosses and workmates, marketers, and government agencies watch people regarding such matters as emerging adulthood, gender, kinship networks, new technology parenthood, race and ethnicity, sexuality, surrogate caregivers, and young children. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Whether you are considering in-home day care, family day care, or a day care center you should check it out carefully.

  • In-home care is when you hire the caregiver to come to your home to care for your child. You set the hours, responsibilities and compensation for the job.
  • Family day care is an arrangement in which your child is cared for in someone else's home. The caregiver may provide flexible hours to work with your schedule.
  • Day care centers provide care for children of all ages. Some will accept infants, others provide after school care. Each state requires that day care centers, caring for more than a specific number, be licensed, unless they are exempted.

A good place to start your search is with your local childcare resource and referral agency. They can let you know about local choices and talk with you about all the different childcare options that are available.

What to ask

What is the check-in/check-out policy for the children?

Does the provider have daily parental communication, both written and verbal?

What is the teacher-child ratio?

What is the caregiver's level of training, experience and knowledge?

What is the cleanliness of the classrooms and bathrooms?

Is the environment stimulating for the children?

Are there outdoor play areas?

What is the policy for late pickups?

Is there a nurse on duty?

Questions to Ask

Visit several places you are considering for day care. It is important to view the actual environment and meet the staff. Ask questions of the staff.

Observe the staff's interactions with the children. The staff should interact in a friendly manner and listen attentively. Look for different types of activities, indoors and outdoors, that are scheduled for the children. Consider the health and safety of your child.

Talk to parents of other children at the day care center. The answers you get, plus your observations, will help you decide if the day care you are visiting is the right fit for your child.

Each child has different needs. As a parent, you must decide if the day care you select meets these needs.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff