Finding In Home Daycare Questions — The Bump
Minnesota Babies

Finding In Home Daycare Questions

Can you tell me your experience finding in-home daycare? How early did you call/set up the service? I've called a few people who didn't have openings and/or long waiting lists.

It seems some people aren't willing to hold spots...should I wait until closer to when I need the service (Aug)?

Re: Finding In Home Daycare Questions

  • I hope that you still check this, even though this board is so slow! When I was pregnant, I was calling so many home daycares to see if they had openings, and most of them told me to call closer to when I would need an opening because they couldn't hold a spot open that long for me. I guess I understand that because they would be losing out (potentially) on a lot of money by holding the spot for you. When we were looking, I got the list of licensed daycares from the state (https://www.mnchildcare.org/). I looked for all those in my area (I found that the openings/hours information weren't always accurate, so if you search by that, you might be leaving out providers that would work for you). Then I called ALL OF THEM (I'm not even kidding, I made so many phone calls) and asked if they would have an opening when I wanted it for an infant. If they did, then I asked about the rates, what that includes, how many kids they had/what ages, how many they were licensed for and how many they wanted to have (some are licensed for 10-12, but only want 4-6), their experience, why they do it, etc. After I had talked to everyone that had openings, I talked them over with my husband and we drove by some of the houses to make sure it was an area/house that I'd be comfortable with. THEN we called back those that we wanted to meet with in person (the ones that the rates/hours matched, sounded good on the phone, etc). After meeting in person and asking the more in depth questions (you can find really good lists everywhere of questions to ask), we asked for references and called the references of those that we were interested in. We had it narrowed down to two. Even though the one we went with was slightly more expensive, we decided that she was going to be it. We even got her to come down a little on her rate for us, which was nice. You could try to do all the calling right now just to see if there is anyone that you really like (even if they wouldn't hold a spot open), but I would suggest waiting until the baby is here to really do any in person interviews. A big part of our decision making was based on whether the provider asked if she could hold DS, and then getting to watch her interact with him while we talked. We found our first provider over a month before we needed her. Then she flaked out and we had to find our current provider in less than two weeks, so it can be done quickly! Good luck!
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