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STEP THREE: Observe
- In addition to your assessment in step one, you may consider dropping by the daycare unannounced to see the care providers in action.
- If you can make friends with another parent at the daycare, you can rotate dropping in periodically to observe the environment.
Some additional ideas:
- Google the daycare center and see if there have been any recent (or repeated) incidents.
- Run a background check on the employees.
- Ask the daycare for references—and ask those references if they know of any other parents who would be willing to share their thoughts on the center.
If you're still hesitant about putting your child in daycare, hiring a nanny may be another option. The one-on-one time ensures that your child gets proper attention, and you may also feel more in control of the situation since you take on the role of employer (as opposed to at a daycare, where you are the customer). Nannies typically charge by the week, but you can also find part-time babysitters that can step in if you just want someone for a few hours, a few times a week. Sittercity.com has hundreds of thousands of child care providers in every city nationwide—complete with a Rate Calculator, background checks, and comprehensive sitter/nanny profiles with resumes, reviews, training, certifications, photos and more.
Get more from Babysitting Expert Genevieve Thiers