This conversation is sponsored by KinderCare
I remember the dread I felt when I got my first big job after my daughter was born. I was thrilled to be chosen for such an amazing job, and so quickly, but terrified by the idea of placing my daughter in childcare. After all, where you place your child can make a huge difference in your work life AND home life. Now that she's older and I have another little one that will need occasional care soon, I have a list of questions to ask myself that I think are important for every parent to ask before deciding on a child care provider.
Do You & Your Child Feel
Confident About This Facility?
This is a huge one. If you're unsure of the care your child is receiving while you're at work then you're unable to do your best on the tasks you need to do. It can also drain both you and your child emotionally, as well as cause behavioral setbacks. KinderCare strives to focus on whole child confidence so that each little one in their centers are comfortable to be themselves, and their parents are comfortable with the level of devoted care their child is getting. This dedication leads to lifelong confidence in the kiddos enrolled in KinderCare ( a huge win).
Is Your Child Safe?
Ensuring the environment is age appropriate and safe for your child is so important. Safety means that the ratio of kids to care provider isn't a big one and that the facility is regularly cleaned and stocked with very safe and up to date equipment. Your child is unique, so what makes them or you happy with a facility may be different from another parent and child.
Is Your Child Happy?
Maybe your daughter really needs to have a swing set on the playground, or only feels safe with female care providers. One of the things I love about KinderCare is that they are open and honest about these conversations. They want to know what you and your child need in your care plan, and what you're looking for to facilitate the best care possible that not only keeps your child safe and happy but enriches her mind with fundamental learning. Watch how the care provider interacts with your child as well as other children while on a tour. Does she help children who feel sad or may need help making friends? Do the daily activities include things like art, building, reading, or anything that stands out to you and your little one as a favorite? It's the best feeling in the world when your child is so excited about their care that they don't need the waterworks when you leave for work.
Do You Feel Respected?
To me, one of the cornerstones of respect is feeling like I am being listened to, and that my opinion matters in a valuable way. I want whoever is taking care of my child to respect that I am Mama, meaning they don't discount my concerns or keep information from me because they don't think I need to know. At KinderCare, communication between parents and staff is so paramount that KinderCare developed a parent panel to ensure parent needs and concerns are met at a larger level. Though, care providers are also trained to be transparent and invested when communicating with parents (something I wish more places did).
Are Staff Members Passionate About Their Work?
`There are care providers who work with children as a job and then there are the care providers at KinderCare who are energized and passionate about the work they do, who believe in their mission to help hard-working families see their children flourish. Did you know that for every three families enrolled, a family of modest means is given the ability to build a confident future for their children? At the very core of KinderCare are the teachers who are diverse and focus on being friendly, intentional, inquisitive, transparent, compassionate, and collaborative. I toured several facilities where the staff were not energized about the work they did and it showed in how they sat and looked at their phones or talked as if my child was just another enrolled number on their sheets. You're definitely going to want to find a provider who loves working with kids and is excited about the daily possibilities of their work - these are the teachers who ignite imaginations, teach kids to ask questions, and take the kids for outdoor adventures.