7 Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing Childcare
The Makers Club • Resources


1 Choosing a center based solely on location

Choosing a childcare provider that is close to home or work, would be extremely convenient, and it’s worth considering. However, you also need to determine whether this child care center meets your family’s expectations in all areas important to you. You are setting yourself up for an unhappy experience if you don’t also consider the center’s education focus, environment, hours, safety, and other criteria that may be important to you. If all of that is in order, then a convenient location is icing on the cake!

2 Relatives or friends offer to watch your child

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if family life was like it was on “The Walton’s” TV show? Way back when the family could be counted on for anything and were often the most trusted people to care for our children. While family members in generations past have lovingly and carefully watched kids so parents could work, this isn’t always the case anymore. Many times friends and family do not have open schedules to accommodate your work schedules, which can lead to lots of schedule juggling and patchwork daycare routines. And even if they do, parents need to consider whether their child is thriving in this type of environment or is missing out on enrichment, stimulation, and early education opportunities. Just because a person is “family” doesn’t mean they are truly qualified to safely care for a child, especially on a recurring basis.

3 Choosing a center because it’s a bargain

With the rising cost of EVERYTHING these days, cheap child care is hard to ignore. Families on a tight budget may be easily tempted to use a particular child care provider because they are cheap. But this can be one of the most dangerous child care pitfalls if you are not careful! While it is possible to find affordable child care arrangements,
you must be a diligent parent.

4 Limiting your options to one type of care

There are many different types of child care options for the working parent. A few that come to mind are licensed home daycare providers, child care centers, relative care, and private nannies or au-pairs. Each type of care has pros and cons advantages and disadvantages, and while one option may work great for your friend another may work better for your family. Parents should weigh out the facts regarding each type of care option and their scheduling needs, and then carefully consider each option before making their choice.

5 Choosing a center with loose rules

Parents may be tempted to choose a particular provider because she seems so easygoing and “go-with-the-flow.” While some flexibility can be nice, parents should really be careful when choosing this type of provider. Rules and regulations are important. Centers without clearly established guidelines for everything from operating
hours to illness policies to payment arrangements are likely to have other organizational problems as well.

6 Rushing into a decision

Parents often feel rushed into choosing childcare for their children due to pressures from work and family schedules. However, parents should be reminded to give careful consideration to how this choice will impact the development of their child. Deciding who will be caring for your kid, whether it’s occasional or every day, part-time or full-time is a
huge decision. Parents should be sure they have researched their options, and have made an informed decision to ensure the best long-term satisfaction regarding their child care choice.

7 Using a carefiver based on word of mouth alone

“I heard from my cousin that it’s a great center”
“My neighbor’s son goes there”
“They are great, my best friends daughter goes there”

Every family is different, and just because your best friend uses a particular child care center, doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your family. Of course, it is important to consider recommendations and feedback from trusted friends and family members, but this should only be a starting point for considering your options. Also, keep in mind that each
kid may view the place differently or respond differently to the environment or teachers. Be in tune with your child, and be sure you are considering his/her needs in all child care decisions.

Every family is different, and just because your best friend uses a particular child care center, doesn’t mean it’s the right childcare center.

I hope this article has been helpful. If we can be of any further assistance in your child care choice, please don’t hesitate to call.

Amanda Adams
The Makers Club Site Director
(206) 741-8405