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Most parents today need daycare for their children, but finding quality daycare is not easy. Here are some tips to help you find the kind of care that's right for your child. I might also include some of my own daycare experiences on this page.

Be clear about what you want
There are a variety of child care options, so be clear about what you are looking for. Do you want in-home care or center-based care? Do you need full-time care, or can you manage with part-time? Sit down with your partner and decide what is workable from your point of view, as well as what is in the best interest of your child.

Start looking early
Daycare providers can have waiting periods of up to a year, so make sure you sign up for the center you like well before you actually need to use the facility. The best time to begin your search is when you find out you're pregnant.

Take advantage of public services
Many towns have services that help parents find quality care for their children. You can check for such programs with your city hall, your local church, or with friends who have children of their own.

Interviewing Potential Caregivers

When visiting a potential caregiver, come prepared with questions such as these:

* Are you certified in infant/child CPR?
* What qualifications do you have?
* Do you hold a degree in child education or development?
* How many children are in your care at any given time?
* How does this number compare to the state requirements for child care facilities?

Childcare In NYC

There are approximately 550,000 children under the age of five in New York City.

Some people stay home with their children or turn to relatives or neighbors for child care. A few workplaces provide day care for their employees, but many New Yorkers turn to private centers, which can be a costly option.

The average cost of day care for a four-year-old in New York State is $9,000 a year, which, as the Children's Defense Fund (1) points out, is more than college tuition at a public university.

Most New Yorkers have to find less expensive options.

For those who qualify, the city currently provides some kind of day care funding or program for about 1 in 5 of the city's children. The city contracts with 344 private, non-profit centers around the city. Most centers typically open their doors as early as 7:30 a.m. and can close as late as 7:00 p.m. The city also provides funding to regulated family care providers, licensed individuals who take care of children in their homes.


(1) -> Resource found by: http://www.gothamgazette.com

Looking for online resources? Check out this site:

New York State Registered Day Care Provider List. You can check out who is watching your child/ren, and make sure all is ok. (Violations, etc.)

Child Care/Parent Provider Information Network