Parent's check list

Before you make a final decision about the best childcare to suit your and your child's needs, go through these lists and answer all the questions to make sure you haven't forgotten anything important.

Your options

  • Have you looked at several local options to get a good idea of what's available?
  • Have you worked out exactly how much it will cost you each week?
  • If you can't afford your preferred option, have you found out what Government help may be available?
Your child's main carer
  • Is the carer trained and/or experienced?
  • Have you spoken in person to at least one (preferably two) parents who've used the carer and heard good things about her?
  • Does the carer respond to your child as an individual and communicate well with you? Are you and your child made to feel welcome?
  • Is she willing to help you continue your child's routine with things such as sleep, food or any special needs?
  • Is she willing to fit in with your ideas on discipline, toilet teaching, sweets and other issues?
  • Does she like children and enjoy caring for them?
Your child's environment
  • If outside your own home, is the place safe, clean and well-equipped?
  • Will your child have contact with other children?
  • Is there a safe outside space where your child can play?
  • Are there plenty of appropriate toys, and will your child have lots of opportunities to play with them?
  • Is it an environment in which your child will feel happy and confident in terms of ability, race, culture, language or gender?
Your instincts
  • Do you like the person who'll have responsibility for your child?
  • Do you find them easy to talk to and willing to listen?
  • Do you feel relieved to have found someone you can trust?
Once you're satisfied with most, if not all, of these points, you're in a great position to go ahead and book your child's place with the carer of your choice.

Source: BBC
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