When my wife and I began having kids it was impossible for one of us to quit work to stay home with them. We had always hoped to be in a position financially where one of us could support the family while the other one did the important job of raising our children for the first few years of their lives until they got into school. So, unfortunately, when kids came around and our finances weren’t at the level we had hoped, we began our search for the right daycare setting for our young kids.
I am a firm believer that a daycare, when chosen carefully, can be a great place for children to spend their first few years of life. Before my wife and I began our search for the right place for our kids, we sat down and made a list of the things we wouldn’t compromise on when it came to the daycare our children attended. I’d encourage all parents who are considering daycare for their children to do the same.
By sitting down together and listing our priorities, we were able to begin our search with a better picture of the kind of daycare we were looking for. We knew that we wanted our children to be in a safe, healthy environment where they would be cared for well and encouraged to build friendships with other kids and to learn new things. We insisted that our daycare was smoke free and we looked for a daycare that gave the children many opportunities each week to get outside and enjoy playgrounds or other fun events for children.
Take your time and be intentional with choosing a daycare for your kids. If you are unable to care for your children in the earliest years of their lives, in some ways by choosing a daycare program you are choosing a substitute parent for your kids. You cannot afford to make the decision about daycare lightly because I guarentee your kids will be shaped and formed by the daycare they attend.
My wife and I settled on a small, private daycare that was run by one woman out of her home. Our two children made a total of six children that she was watching each day. Our daycare provider had a clean home that was filled with a variety of educational toys for children of all ages. Twice a week she took all of the children to events somewhere outside her home. Perhaps they would attend a book reading at the local library or go to the park on a nice afternoon. We were happy that her daycare service prioritized feeding our children healthy foods and helping them have a healthy, active lifestyle right from the start.
Determine your priorities for daycare and then stick with them, because choosing a daycare for your kids is one of the most important decisions you can make for them.