Tricks To Finding A Daycare Space
I get calls everyday for people looking for a daycare spot and it is exhausting to turn people away everyday. So what is the trick to getting into a daycare if there is a shortage of childcare workers in your area? If you are trying to find childcare in the Okanagan it can be an overwhelming task. We have a huge shortage of childcare workers and our city is growing at a rapid rate. So how do you find a great daycare space for your family and what should you look for?
When searching for a daycare you want to ensure it’s the right fit for you and your family because this person is essentially helping to raise your child. Take your time while looking even if you are in a hurry because not everyone has the same methods, beliefs or attitudes towards how a child should be raised. What works for them may clash with what you want for your child. Plus you want your child to have fun at daycare while learning about life so look for the best fit for that important factor. Are you looking for play based child care or curriculum based program? Does your child need special attention or have physical restrictions? Ask these questions when you do your search and meet with a few people to see if they are someone you could coparent with!
Persistence! Community! Friends!
Be persistent and organized.
I have parents call me and ask to get onto my waitlist which is great in theory but can you imagine keeping records or hundreds of strangers, their child’s age, and what type of care they require. Once we start going down the list and making phone calls only to be told they have found a spot already it begins to waste our time. If you do wish to get on a waitlist ask for the daycares email and send them your name, child’s name and age, hours required, and any other relevant information. Email is much easier to track and organize.
Put the keyword “daycare or childcare” in your titles to stay relevant as many people get loads of emails and they don’t want to open them all.
Check back every couple months but don’t pester them. We understand you are desperately needing childcare but we can only have so many kids at once and only a few of certain ages depending on whether they are licensed or a home care centre.
Community is a resource.
Go to play groups and play centres and ask around to the people you meet. Ask them without sounding creepy of course and see where everyone goes to find childcare. Check for resource centres in your community as they can be very helpful. The Child Care Resource & Referral Centre here is amazing and can offer drop in services and lists of daycares that are actively seeking clients.
Friends are a huge help!
If you have friends with small children and they are in daycare ask them for the information. Word of mouth is always going to be one of the best ways to grow and engage with others so a simple recommendation may be all you need to find a spot.
If you don’t have friends with small kids start making them in the community and this will help you to get options like swapping childcare with each other, having help to find new resources and get input on others journeys. Friends are a very important part of having children so start getting social for your benefit and the benefit of your child.
Maybe after doing your search you decide to enter the field and become a daycare provider. In most places you don’t need to go back to school and get a degree to open your own space so look into it and find out if running a home daycare is right for you and your family. All you need is patience, understanding, some basic regulations and guidelines as well as some of the most common daycare supplies and you could be running your own business!