First, you should plan to meet with a few daycare providers to decide which one feels right. A great word-of-mouth recommendation is very helpful, but you want to meet and be comfortable with the daycare. Plan to do this well before you will actually need care, as there may be limited availability (prepare to be on a waiting list!).
Decide if a daycare facility is right, or if an in-home daycare is right for your child. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask when you tour, and make sure that you understand how each daycare will server your child's needs.
You may find that a great in-home daycare is right for your baby, and over time, your child may outgrow her surroundings. At that time, you may want to consider transitioning to a daycare facility where your child may be surrounded by more kids her age, in order to prepare for pre-school. This may happen around age 3 or 4, as your child begins to explore the world around her in more detail.
Keep in mind that you may have another waiting list to get on, so it can be a good idea to sign up for that list about 6 months in advance, or more.
Every child is different, so use your instinct to decide when the time is right to transition. It may be that your child is still learning and growing, and moving to a new environment can present new challenges.
If you are a daycare provider looking for more resources to enhance your education and nutrition, please visit our coloring pages section to find resources you can print out and use in your daycare.