Finding the Right One – the challenge of securing quality childcare

Digging into my archives I found an article that I wanted to link to in my next blog entry. This is several years old, but the still applies. I’ve updated the links, since I can no longer find my own article that was referred to here.


Finding the Right One

– the challenge of securing quality childcare

I have had many people ask me how to go about finding childcare, what questions to ask, what type of care I would recommend…

I worked in most different capacities of early childhood, prior to having my first child. One thing that cemented my decision to stay home with my children is the challenge of finding the quality childcare.

There are basically three options of childcare to consider: licensed group childcare; home-based childcare (licensed and unlicensed); and in-home care (Nannies).

What age will your child(ren) be when they require care? Space is often limited for children under two years of age.

How many children do you require care for? Once you have 3 or more children in care, it is often more economical to consider hiring in-home care.

Do you require ‘full-time’care (typically Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm)? Any flexibility required will affect availability of childcare space.

What are your children’s temperaments? Will they thrive in a large group of same-age children? Do they require an intimate, mixed age-group setting? Are they flexible and able to adapt to new routine easily? Do they need their familiar environment and routine to cope well?

Once you have determined the type of care that works best for your family, how do you secure and maintain quality childcare? There are some obvious and some subtle things/questions to help you determine if the care you are considering is quality – you can visit and for some suggestions.

The bottom-line is that licensing does not equate quality. While it should give you piece of mind that a centre or caregiver has met the minimum standards set by licensing, it is ultimately up to the parents to monitor quality of care. I am a huge advocate for childcare licensing, however it is my opinion that the standard set by licensing is 1) difficult to enforce, and 2) a minimum standard that any quality childcare centre should strive to not only meet, but to exceed.

I cannot stress enough: if anything about a care arrangement does not sit right with you, go with your gut. This is a very personal decision, and one of the most important you’ll ever make in your child(ren)’s formative years. Taking the time to strive toward a long-term arrangement for your family will benefit your child(ren) to the utmost.

Most importantly, observe your children in care! Even after all arrangements have been finalized, be sure to re-evaluate how the arrangement is meeting the needs of your family!

Trish McCourt

ECE and mother of 2

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two