Child care, whether it’s for a friend or your child, is an important issue to consider. Finding affordable child care has become a serious concern in recent years as the cost of preschool has skyrocketed and every family budget is squeezed. For parents who are looking for a way to pay for child care, finding the right preschool is the first step to getting the support they need.
There are many different ways to find affordable child care, depending on your needs and what kind of child care services you require. The most effective way to approach this type of decision is, to begin with, a plan, that covers all of your options.
When you meet with a child care provider, ask about available programs. What services are available? Do they offer all of the services you require?
Also, check out what child care services you can afford – do they offer a full program or just the basics? If you can’t afford full-day care, do they offer group education programs, after-school care, or daycare at your home?
Look At The Overall Cost
Does your child care provider to offer a discount if you pay each month, or does it charge by the hour? You may also want to ask about course and classroom schedules, health insurance, and how much is involved in the programs, as well as how often they have scheduled tutoring and specialty care (such as language therapy).
If you feel you are unable to pay for child care, ask what your options are. Many will be able to set up a payment plan or provide a savings account for the savings you’ll make from not using their services.
Find out what your child care company charges to hold your child overnight. Even though all children are different, most companies will charge a service fee – this includes the time taken to handle insurance issues, security, staffing fees, transportation, and more. Check to see if there are any surcharges for having your child with other children or babysitting.
While Choosing An Affordable Child Care
Ask how many children the facility is responsible for. Also what days the facility is open and if your child will be affected by the others. If your child is on a daily schedule, is he or she “matched” with a daycare professional. Or is your child free to go when he or she chooses? This information may help you make a choice. Is it better to see your child or one assigned to a professional?
As you are evaluating child care providers, ask how often they conduct evaluations. Also, how many employees they have, and how many children do they have on staff. It’s also helpful to learn if they are regulated and what accreditation standards they meet.
Always Check The License
Find out what their licensing requirements are and if they have any stipulations in places – such as no smoking or no pets. Depending on your state, some child care providers may have to follow the laws set forth by your state.
It’s important to find a child care provider that is licensed by your state. Keep in mind that the type of education they provide is also extremely important. If they have a curriculum, ensure that the courses offered are ones that meet your child’s academic needs.
If you choose to use a home daycare or a center, check to make sure they have the proper licensing and that the staff is trained in handling children. Also, make sure they have a child care counselor available for advice on general child care issues. This is because this will be a trained professional you’re dealing with on a daily basis.