JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- When it comes to choosing a daycare your first step is to identify your priority: are you looking for something near your home? Do you want a center or a family in-home facility?
"You go to a center, it is 15-20 kids, one or two teachers. With me, it is six kids," said LaRonya McGlothin.
McGlothin is an family home care owner, she started her business ten years ago to be near her daughter. She said once you've set your priorities do your research.
"You should be looking for quality," she said.
Also, check to see if there's a curriculum or a program that stimulates the child's growth. The next step is to check the Florida Department of Children and families website: www.dcf.state.fl.us
You are looking for the provider's license and its status. The next step is to visit the facility and interview the provider.
"See what the provider has to offer," said McGlothin.
And after you've checked references, it is time to give it the kid test. See how your child interacts.
"You might want to bring your child," said McGlothin. "Meet the provider to see if this is the need for the child."
The last concern, which many make first, is the cost. In Jacksonville, you can expect to pay between $100 to $300 a week.
"You might go somewhere cheap," she said, "but will you get quality?"
Again, you check the provider's license, background and references before you consider the fees.
McGlothin heads the Family Childcare Association of Jacksonville and says good parents will always do their homework first.
The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies says the average weekly cost for child care is 150 dollars a week. For single parents, that represents a third of household income.
Daycare cost is affected by several factors, among them:
Are your needs for just traditional hours, or do you need pre-school and after school services?
Is there a special need for your child?
Is the child care facility providing meals and snacks?
What is the age of the child?
If it is an infant, you can add an additional $25-to-$100
First Coast News