When considering childcare options, start early–while you are still pregnant ideally.  It will feel strange to think about this before your baby is even born but in the long run it will be in everyone’s best interest. (And in some areas of the country, early research and enrollment in day care centers is the only way you’ll even get a spot in the one your want your baby to attend).

One of the best ways to find out about the quality of area daycare centers or nannies is word of mouth. Post a question on your family or mother’s group forum, asking if anyone has any recommendations or if they’re had any good–or bad–experiences with a particular option you are considering. Chances are, if you hear several people respond with glowing reviews about a center you’re considering, you’ll feel confident in your selection. Most centers and all nannies can provide family references too, so be sure to collect those and contact each one.  Additional tips for considering childcare options for your baby:

  • Discuss your finances with your partner and know what you can and can not afford
  • Discuss your childcare options with your partner–home day care, a day care center, or a babysitter/nanny–and decide which option you both feel is the best fit for your family’s needs and schedule. It is important that you are both in agreement.
  • Do you research and make a list of providers in your area.
  • If going the nanny route, considering seeking out an agency to help you in your search if you do not have the time to devote.  They will do all of the prescreening for you to ensure each applicant is qualified.