“When is the right time to enroll my child in daycare?” That question is top of mind for parents across the world right now. Whether your child was already in daycare or you are looking to enroll for the first time, making educated childcare decisions is critical.

Here is the good news: you have options. Although there are instances of daycares closing due to stay-at-home orders, parents can still match with safe, affordable, and quality childcare centers through resources like WeeCare –the largest childcare network in the U.S. Here is everything you need to know about how to find appropriate care for your child:

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Finding Daycare For Your Child Can Be As Easy As 1, 2, 3…

  • Deciding when to start your child at daycare: If you’re wondering about “when,” know that there is not a “right” or “wrong” time. There are a wide range of factors, like age, schedule, and comfort level, for parents to consider.
  • Finding a daycare near you: Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to enroll your child in daycare, you need to find one that’s nearby. To see what’s available in your area and to schedule a tour, use WeeCare’s full directory of licensed home preschools. The website is specific to home daycares and includes options that accommodate a wide variety of schedules–such as overnight care and weekends. 
  • Determining if the daycare is operating safely: When it comes to in-home daycares, you should always make sure that licensing is up to date. Licensing indicates that the center meets all of the standard safety precautions. WeeCare daycare providers are health and safety certified, CPR certified, and background checked. In light of current health concerns, daycares are also conducting virtual temperature checks through the WeeCare app. 
  • Make the right decision for you and your family: Finding a daycare that has open spots and is the right fit is the final piece of the puzzle. Many families are looking for smaller class sizes, structured learning environments, and affordable options – all of which are offered in-home daycare settings. Once you find the right daycare near you, you can agree on the cost with the provider, enroll, and then start!

Benefits of Daycare

Families may wonder, “Should I even send my child to daycare? Is it worth it?” Here are some of the important benefits of daycare:

  • Introduces them to inspiring learning environments that are focused on STEAM, use the Montessori method, encourage play-based learning, and more! You can read each daycare’s description when you look for daycares in your neighborhood. Quality early education is an indicator of later success in school and prepares children for entering kindergarten.
  • They can socialize with other children in a curriculum-based, structured, small group environment. This experience with early learning and socialization not only prepares kids for school but also helps build communication and social-emotional skills in young children.
  • When you choose a home daycare you give your child the opportunity to bond with caregivers, be in a mixed age group, and find comfort in a home-like environment. It is a place where children can learn independence, try new things, gain responsibility, and establish a routine. Daycare may even start to feel like a second home for some children.

Thinking Through Your Daycare Decision

Once you decide that it’s time for your family to take the leap, follow the steps to find a daycare near you. Childcare has been front and center as families reckon with the need to prioritize options that provide flexible scheduling, small class sizes, and a stable learning environment. Daycares have also served as a model for schools reopening, and in many cases, are a success story about how to do so safely. This should provide some peace of mind as you think through your daycare decision and evaluate if this is the best move for you and your family.

Alternatives to Daycare

If you and your family decide not to send your child to daycare, Kinedu offers an accessible and practical way of supporting your child’s development from home. With Kinedu, access 1,800+ activities created by experts that adapt as your child grows. All of Kinedu’s activities use everyday household materials and are accompanied by how-to videos that break down exactly what you need to do. With Premium, chart your child’s progress throughout the year and identify skills to work on. Plus, invite family members, nannies, and other caregivers to share your account. Download for free here.