How to check availability in child care center?
When is the right time to start looking for child care? The short answer is the earlier the better. Many schools enroll year-round and depending on your child's age the school you really like might not have openings when you need it. Typically, it is harder to find baby child care than preschool care. Sometimes calling the school directly could be a good idea. Many times doing some homework prior to that could make your search much easier and your information more complete.
Here are five tips on how to find an opening in child care you like:
1. Some child care centers follow the local school board's schedule. If you have an older child, check when public schools are back in session and contact the child care center a few weeks prior.
2. If you're having a baby, many schools have a waiting list for their infant room. Contact the child care center as soon as you find out when you have to be back to work and put your name on the list.
3. You can search online. For example, you can visit kidcarescout.com and search for child care in your area by zip code or city name. Many preschools will post their openings there.
4. Ask other parents. You can post a message on social media, ask your friends and neighbors, or find a school you like on kidcarescout.com and post your question under the Ask A Parent tab and have other parents at this school or director help you.
5. E-mail the director and describe the child care needs you have and when you want to enroll. Some schools might not be able to meet your child care expectations even if you really like them. For many schools you can find an e-mail address through the search or checking their profile on kidcarescout.com.
A few things to keep in mind...
Schools that are always full and hard to get into not always the best. Directors will sometimes intentionally limit enrollment to create a more exclusive environment and justify higher fees. If you have a hard time to get information about openings in the preschool you will most likely have difficulty getting information after enrollment too, which is a sign of bad organization. Many preschools have referral rewards, so if you strongly believe that you found the best school and they have openings share this information on kidcarescout.com under Ask A Parent tab and become your school's advocate.
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