Friday, January 25, 2019

How to Choose the BEST Georgia Child Care Program

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students. However, all thoughts are my own.

In those first stages of parenthood you rarely think of the all the millions of decisions you will have to make once your new bundle of joy arrives. Your thoughts are a swirl of nursery decor, birth plans, and sleep schedules. I never realized how many decisions I would have to make each and every day regarding my children. From as simple as what to feed them for breakfast to as large as where to send them for child care. As I was snuggling my tiny little babies I never would have thought how much time and effort I would put into this decision. It’s almost daunting. And shocking how much of a process it is even on a preschool level. I think it rivals the collegiate process…or quite possibly supersedes it. 

Carrie Beth and I both left careers once we became new moms. There were a variety of factors that went into the decisions, but ultimately it was for the same reason. We wanted to stay at home with our children and soak up all those tiny moments that seem to be gone in warp speed. Our husbands’ careers were taking off, and their travel schedules some weeks are brutal. We had several friends in the same situation and heard the tales of looking for a daycare, a nanny, or a variety of other childcare options. The process seemed overwhelming, not to mention the astronomical costs for some options. 

School and childcare decisions didn’t really come into play for us until preschool.

Now that a new year has arrived, January typically means it’s time to buckle down and get ready for the process to start all over again to plan for the following school year. We’re old pros at this now, but if you’re new to this world we wish you the best of luck and may the odds be ever in your favor! 

Just kidding - we want to help! And we have found an amazing solution when it comes to finding the very best child care options in Georgia! 

We’ve stumbled upon the statewide, free search tool called Quality Rated Child Care, and we wish we had found it years ago! We love that it is such a helpful tool for parents to find the best childcare for their needs. Through the Quality Rated site you can organize licensed child care options by price, services, and Quality Rated star ratings. There is even a “search along a route” tool to help find the best programs along your commuting route! In Atlanta traffic, that is a HUGE help. 

We also love how Quality Rated’s tool lists all licensed and license-exempt child care providers in Georgia. In home license exempt facilities are becoming more common because of their quainter size and including these as an option gives you a comprehensive review of all the child care options available to you. 

Having qualified early childhood education experts rate the child care programs in an area and share that information is so helpful. We also love the peace of mind it brings that we can continuously check through Quality Rated on credentials as well as what they are doing to improve their facilities and educational programs. 

Quality Rated also has an amazing Child Care Checklist that we wish we had on hand years ago! It helps outline all the important questions you need take into consideration when looking at child care options, like:

  • Are there enough staff members to give attention to all the children attending the facility? 
  • What is the process for when a child becomes ill? 
  • What are the safety procedures? 
  • Does each classroom follow daily lesson plans?
  • What education do the staff themselves receive? 
  • How will I hear about my child’s day? 
  • How are snack time and lunchtime handled? 
  • How are allergies considered? 
  • Is before and after care available? If so, what are the costs?

You get the idea - Quality Rated has thought of everything a Georgia parent needs to help choose the absolute best child care option for their child. At the end of the day, handing over your child over to other adults for care can be nerve wrecking, and we all want the reassurance that we have made the best decision possible for our child and their well being.  We love that Quality Rated has created tools to help parents ease into that phase of parenthood. 

Is your child’s child care Quality Rated? Click here to use the tool and find out!

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