When moving, families with older children often choose the new location based on the schools. For families with younger children, it is equally as important to consider childcare options.
Even though you've probably got a million things on your plate, you should start the search for childcare the moment you know where you are moving. A lot of childcare facilities have deadlines and they can fill up fast (especially the good ones!).
Start by scouting out your options. Here are some places you can get childcare recommendations:
• Local parents’ groups
• Child Care Aware hotline (800-424-2246)
• Accredited centers listed at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC)
If you are moving nearby, then you will be able to go visit all of the recommended childcare facilities and pick the one which suits your needs best. However, if you are moving long-distance, then you probably won’t be able to visit all of them. Instead, you will have to talk to each of the childcare centers individually and ask them questions.
Remember that childcare centers are busy! You will want to schedule a time to have a phone or video interview with them. Have your list of questions ready. You can find a list of questions to ask a day care center here.
Get on the Waiting List
Always remember to ask childcare centers about their waiting list and expected availability for the time of your move. A lot of good childcare centers have long waiting lists. So, if you are moving long distance, you might decide to put your child on the waiting list even before you've seen the actual facility.
Visiting the Childcare Center
Once you have moved to your new place, wait until things have calmed down a bit before you visit the childcare center with your child. You have already called the centers and looked into their reputation. So, this visit is to check that they live up to their promises and also to see how your child fits with them.
Remember that starting a new day care is stressful for a child. Coupled with the stress from the move, it could be too much. If possible, hold off on starting the new day care until your child seems settled in the new home.