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Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care

Need to go back to work after maternity leave? Here's how to find the best child care for your baby or toddler.

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Whether you need the occasional babysitter, a morning day care, or a full-time nanny, finding quality child care is an important decision. As you start your search, here are some tips. First, look for licenses or certifications. Day care centers and family day cares should be licensed by your state. The center will have a certificate showing this. For nannies, ask if she's taken any child development classes, child safety courses, and if she's certified in CPR. Second, ask for references. Check with at least two other sources who can answer your questions and provide information under experience with a child care center or provider. Ask both the positive and negative aspects of working with the facility or person. Third, visit the day care or meet with the provider to get a sense of the place or the person. Then, before you commit to a day care or nanny, set up a trial run to see if the facility or person are a good fit with your child, your family, and your lifestyle. While any new situation may feel strange, trust your instincts and move on if you have a negative gut reaction to something. Child care is not helpful without your peace of mind.