Being a new mom is great, but after maternity leave period has passed, it is back to reality and back to work and finding the right daycare for your little one is one of the most difficult problems you will have to face.
Approach your daycare as you would a job hunt. Be thorough, do your homework and start early.
Identify your priorities: Decide what you want and what will be best for your child. Are you looking for a daycare near your work or home? Do you want your child around lots of other kids or just a few?
Do research: Ask around for thebest daycare. Find a daycare with a stamp of approval from the National Association of Family Child Care or National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Visits and interviews: Go there and meet the staff, get a feel of the place. Get the necessary information such as; hours, fees, vacation schedules, discipline, feeding and sleeping. You will want a warm, clean and safe environment for your child to be in. Your child must be able to build a relationship with their teacher or caregiver, so pay attention to the caregiver-child ratios and how many children are in a classroom and is everyone getting the necessary attention they need.
Kid-test it: Go back and visit with your child, see how he/she and the caregiver interact and if they are comfortable in the environment.
If this is the daycare of your dreams, apply as soon as possible to ensure that your child will get accepted. It will take a day or two for your child to adapt but once they fit in, they will make lots of friends and be as happy as can be.