Baltimore Babies

Daycare: Where do you begin?

How did you begin to "shop" for daycare facilities?  I know there is a website out there somewhere with ratings.  Anyone know it?  When did you begin your search?  I'm obviously new at this so any advice you can give would be appreciated.  Thanks!
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Re: Daycare: Where do you begin?

  • we really wanted to go with a center, for various reasons, so I started by calling all the centers, getting on waiting lists and taking tours.  We were on waiting lists right until DS was born so I also went the mdchildcare.org to find some in homes.  I would decided which one you want to go with, if you want in-home go to mdchildcare.org and they can provide you with a list of licensed providers in your area, start to call around to take tours/meet with them.  I just googled questions to ask and compiled my own list based on different suggestions.  Good Luck!
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  • image Cooper81:
    we really wanted to go with a center, for various reasons, so I started by calling all the centers, getting on waiting lists and taking tours.  We were on waiting lists right until DS was born so I also went the mdchildcare.org to find some in homes.  I would decided which one you want to go with, if you want in-home go to mdchildcare.org and they can provide you with a list of licensed providers in your area, start to call around to take tours/meet with them.  I just googled questions to ask and compiled my own list based on different suggestions.  Good Luck!

    Pretty much this exactly. My center pretty much gave me a heart attack because they couldn't start him until about 2 weeks after my desired start date, and I was calling them begging every day the whole time my work kept calling me asking me when I was coming back. Very stressful, but everything worked out.

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  • Start looking ASAP. Most centers have long waiting lists for infants. I waited until I was 5 months pg with DD1, who was being born in September, and the earliest she could get into a center was March of the following year. I ended up going with a mix of MIL and part-time in-home DC.

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  • This website lets you search daycare centers and see if they are in compliance with inspector regulations. 

     

    http://msdecompliancereports.org/ 

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    [center]My little man arrived on 3.24.11, 8 lbs 2oz. and 20"[/center]

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  • I would use this website for a general search in  your area:

    http://www.mdchildcare.org/mdcfc/childcare/choose.html

    It lists all of the Maryland State certified daycare providers and centers.  You can also contact the Locate or Child Care Links office to discuss your needs.  Daycare providers have the opportunity to fill out an entire packet describing their program.  The individuals at the office can then help you find a program that best needs your needs.  Their website is:http://hcchildcarelinksinc.org/

     

    Hope this helps!  Good luck! 

  • I'd also suggest asking anyone and everyone you know.  I looked on the MD Certified website and called around and was very discouraged.  My DH sent out a facebook message and an old co-worker said they liked the in-home they used.  After a little back and forth with her, that's where we ended up and we love it!

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  • Ditto the other ladies.

    mdchildcare.org is a good place to start.

    I also talked to friends and colleagues and went out and visited several of the centers around (we did not want in-home).  We also chatted with our pedi about it since she does hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly from other parents.

    Oh and we started looking when we first found at I was pregnant...daycare centers are super competitive around this area.  We started research then, started seriously looking from 15-20 weeks pregnant and were on 2 waiting lists 8 months before we needed daycare (we didn't need daycare until DD was 6 months old).  And yep, thank goodness we have our names on 2...one of them called us to let us know that they had our spot when it was too late.

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