How to Find a Good Daycare Centre in Your New Town

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Finding A Day Care Centre After a Move

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Moving with small children? That is tough. But what about when you get to your new home? When you move to your new town, you're going to need to set up daycare for your kids if you are too busy to look after them 24/7. Changing daycare centres can be stressful since there is nothing in the world more important to you than your kids. Here are some ways to find a good child care centre in your new town.

Prepare ahead of time

When you choose which strangers to hand your children over to, it is a decision that you probably don't want to rush.

Before you move, you should start scouting for daycare centres in range of your new home. A website for finding child care is a great place to start your research before you even are able to visit the centres in person. You can search by province and see what regulations and daycare statistics are available in each area.

Do you qualify for subsidies?

Depending on your economic situation and which province you seek child care in, you could have some of your daycare paid for by the government. Again, visit websites like to research what the regulations are for each province.

Get on waiting lists

Another reason why you should plan ahead of time is because good daycare centres often have waiting lists. Getting on multiple waiting lists is a good way to make sure that you can visit a centre but not be forced to actually use one without having other options.

Look for centres that are licensed, if you can

Canada has a bit of a childcare crisis. Unlicensed daycare centres can operate legally but have virtually no government oversight. You never know what you'll get with a private daycare centre. Meanwhile, the waiting lists for licensed government-controlled daycare centres are often prohibitively long.

According to CBC News, just 20 percent of Canadian children can get in licensed daycare centres. If you can get your kids into a government-run centre, then you are fortunate, but if you must settle for an unlicensed daycare centre, you need to be extra vigilant during the screening process.

Visit and inspect all aspects of the daycare centre

Soon you should be able to make an appointment to visit the daycare centres on your list. You may want to bring your own children to these meeting to see what they think of the centre.
  • Take note of the physical environment of the centre, especially if it is unlicensed. Are stairs blocked off? Is there enough space? Are there windows? 
  • Pay attention to how the workers behave. These are the people who will be taking care of your children while you are at work
  • See how happy and/or occupied the children look. Are they having fun? Are they out of control? Are they allowed to do anything dangerous? Pay attention to how the kids seem to be enjoying their time in the centre, it could be how your kid reacts, as well.
  • Do they toys/activities look safe and stimulating? You want your children to be safe, but you also don't want them to be bored
  • Be sure to visit multiple centres to compare and contrast styles
  • Ask some workers about their background, experience, and what they do in a typical day at the centre

Do more research but vary your sources

Once you have visited some centres, follow up by looking online for parent reviews or licensing information in online databases. Additionally, if you have friends or family that have used a centre, their opinions should hold considerable weight.

However, don't trust any one source's opinions on a centre 100 percent. People are extremely passionate about their kids and that can cloud their judgement. Parents may recommend a sub-par daycare centre if they have their own child enrolled in it. No parent would ever admit that they didn't do the best they did for their kid, so if it is good enough for their kid, why isn't it good enough for yours?

On the other end of the spectrum, there are overprotective parents. Some parents would bash a daycare centre if their child got into any sort of altercation with another child while there. Some parents aren't comfortable with letting kids play on playground equipment while others are. If these little things frighten some parents, they may go on an unjustified negative review rampage against the offending daycare centre. 

What one parent considers appropriate for their child could vary greatly from what you know is appropriate for your kids, so it is best to take each parent review with a grain of salt.

Know what your child needs in a daycare centre

Only you and your kids know for sure what type of daycare is right for them. You, above everyone else, have to feel comfortable with your choice in daycare and you need to be able to picture your children, with all of their unique needs, being safe and happy there. If you have screened the centre and its workers, and it is reasonably available to you in your new location, then you have succeeded in finding a good daycare centre in your new town.

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on July 29, 2014 - Moving Expert
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