When looking for home daycare for your child, good communication is key. Here are 20 things NOT to do when looking for home daycare.

20 Things NOT to Do When Looking for Home Daycare

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When looking for home daycare for your child, good communication is key. Here are 20 things NOT to do when looking for home daycare.

Kids in home daycare picking flowers and making a recipe at the table

There are so many things that are important to find out BEFORE you put your child in a daycare setting. Whether you choose a daycare home or a center, make sure you know what you’re getting first. 

Don’t expect the provider to already know what you’re expecting or to know what you want. Be open with them and share your needs. 

what to ask when looking for childcare

Don’t forget to ask if the provider is cpr/first aid certified. 

Questions to ask in home daycare

Don’t be afraid to ask who will be in the home.

And Don’t forget to tell the provider about what’s important to you.

Don’t forget the provider is unique and won’t do things like everyone else. Everyone will not like my childcare. It’s not for everyone. We are all different and every family won’t fit every care situation.

Don’t forget to be respectful of a provider’s home.

a child reading a dr. seuess book and kids at the table cooking

Don’t forget when you are in the home, you are in charge of your kids. If they are running through the house tearing things up, it’s your job to stop them, not the provider’s. They will handle them when you are at work. It’s very awkward to correct children when their parents should be.

Looking for daycare

Don’t expect a provider to change their beliefs for you. If you want them to be something they’re not, it’s not going to work out. Do they believe in play-based learning and you want flashcards, you may need to keep looking. If you want vegan meals and they own a cattle ranch, it might not be a good fit.

glasses on the table

Don’t use a provider if they don’t realize your child is your whole world. They may not be cut out for the job. 

Don’t take the relationship lightly. Your provider lets you see her dust and clutter. You see her first thing in the morning and at closing time. She is sharing a lot of herself with you. It’s a vulnerable job, don’t take advantage of it.

Don’t be afraid to make decisions based on your mommy vibe (or daddy vibe). God gave it to you for a reason. That child is your number one priority, it’s no one’s job more than yours to make sure they are safe. It’s like Spidey sense, USE IT! If you don’t feel right, don’t walk, RUN to the next option.

daycare toys cluttered on a shelf

Don’t be afraid to look around and see if you think their home looks safe. Is there so much clutter you couldn’t find a safety hazard if you tried? Do they keep the floors clean if your child would put small objects in their mouth? 

Don’t forget to think about this. Is there room for kids to play? Are they allowed to explore or do they have to stay trapped in one room all day?

Don’t forget to ask if they go outside to play. Outdoor play is imperative for health and proper development. Where will they play outside?

looking for daycare supplies, art materials for kids on a shelf

Don’t be afraid to ask if there are quiet times and quiet, soft places for kids to rest and have a more quiet time of the day. If children are overstimulated, they need a place to take a break. 

Don’t be afraid to ask if the provider has pets, how they behave, if they smoke, or any other questions that may affect a child’s health.

Childcare safety

Don’t be afraid to ask for references. You should talk to other people who have received services from the provider so you can get a feeling of what type of caregiver they are.

Don’t be afraid to ask if you can drop by. Ask if the house is accessible during care hours to you or outside people. Do they lock the doors during care? I would never let someone keep my child that didn’t allow me to drop by. (Please remember if you show up at an unannounced time, be prepared to take your child. Dropping by and leaving them there would be hard on their little feelings.) Do you want free access to the home or would you rather know the doors are always locked to keep kids in and strangers out?

daycare schedule to ask for when looking for daycare

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about schedules, closing dates, discipline, procedures and anything else you need to know to make YOU feel secure leaving your child with the caregiver. 

Don’t be afraid to take the time to get to know the provider, their beliefs and policies before you enter into this business relationship. Of course you can’t expect the provider to talk to you for 2 hours while she has kids in care, but make sure she will take a few minutes to talk with you and is open for you to text or email her further questions so you can have peace of mind before you drop your child off for the first time.

Don’t forget to appreciate the care your caregiver provides. People who are appreciated do more than is expected. Click here to see some ways you can appreciate your provider.  

Licensed home daycare

Make sure you and the provider are on the same page about what you and your child need from them. Don’t be shy or afraid to speak up. You need peace of mind to be able to be an effective employee at your job. Your provider won’t mind answering your questions. They want to give you good care. Keep this in mind when looking for daycare whether it’s in home daycare or center care. 

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  1. When Taylor and I have kids, I’ll be sure to use my “spidey vision” 😉 I loved that!
    No, but seriously, it’s good to have a list like this, because I know it can be super scary for parents to find someone they trust, and the good caregivers want them to ask questions.

  2. I love the article but the title is misleading. It says what NOT to do… You listed thing that you SHOULD DO. Was the NOT in the title a fishing hook to gain readers?

    1. It was meant to make parents understand what they shouldn’t be doing when dealing with childcare providers. I’m sorry you didn’t take it that way. Thank you for reading it.