Selecting a Child Care Provider: Trust Your Gut

March 10, 2019

I was recently asked if I had any advice on what to look for when visiting an early learning centre or day home. I told the parent to trust their gut. If something feels off, it probably is, even if you aren't able to put your finger on it.

My biggest piece of advice, after doing all of the research, making visits, and asking questions is that you don't go with a child care provider you aren't quite comfortable with just because it's closer to your work or your child's school, or because the cost is cheaper for you, or because your child has a friend that goes there, too. None of these are benefits when it comes to finding someone to look after your child. Absolutely none.

If you feel uncomfortable with leaving your child with a child care provider, and do so anyway because of one of these reasons, you are going to continue to feel uncomfortable and anxious. It is best to find someone you trust and have to pay a little more, or have to drive a little farther, because nothing is more important than the safety of your child.

If something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't. Don't feel bad about it either. Everyone has different feelings, and although some people might not have a problem with the same place that you are considering leaving your child, it doesn't mean that you won't. We all have different values and expectations, and you should find a child care provider that mirrors that. It doesn't mean that the places you are considering are filled with awful people or are a dirty environment (though you might encounter some of those), it just means that the provider that you are considering isn't the right fit for you. And that's okay!

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