Mar 15, 2010 7:18 PM by News First 5
It's fun for kids but hard at first for parents. Child care and day care is a reality for many families. While finding it may not be easy, it doesn't have to be scary.
"Parents know the ideal care that they want for their child," said Leanne Cabral, a referral specialist at Child Care Connections, a non-profit that offers parents free help finding child care. "I just help them realize that through a lot of conversations."
Cabral says to start looking early. "Even while you're pregnant, get out in your community and see what is available to you," she said.
Every parent has different needs - locations, times, costs. Once you've found one that fits your family, experts say to plan a visit. Look at the interactions between the provider and children. Go over policies and procedures. Ask about the ratios between adults and children and check the license.
"The most basic thing a parent wants is health and safety," said Diane Price, president and CEO of Child Nursery Centers, a non-profit that offers child care to families in need.
Price says it's also a good idea to ask about opportunities for parents to get involved. "It's not about what we're doing to children. It's what we're doing with children," she said.
The bottom line -- parents need to do their homework too.
More information about child care and day care is on the local parenting website, My 719 Moms.