If You Need to Find Childcare, Here Are Your Options

There are 3 main types of childcare for infants and young children:

  • a sitter or relative in your home
  • home-based daycare (a small group in someone else’s home)
  • center-based care

Research suggests that each of these options can be fine for your baby, provided they are of high quality.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may prefer having a childcare provider in your own home to minimize potential exposure to the virus. Some childcare facilities have been closed during the pandemic. If you’re considering a facility that is open or has reopened, check out this info from the American Academy of Pediatrics on what COVID-19 preventive measures to ask about in childcare settings—from cleaning and disinfection procedures to safe distancing during group activities.

To ensure quality care, look for caregivers who are calm and attentive, and observe if the children in their care seem settled or stressed in the environment. In addition:

  • All childcare settings should be licensed, and those certified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children are preferable.
  • Research confirms that caregivers with education in child development or learning make a difference. Also, it is important that the person who cares for your child shares your values and childrearing attitudes.
  • A good childcare facility should be open for you to visit at any time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, you may not be allowed in the facility’s childcare rooms. Check with the childcare center about how visits are handled outside drop-off or pick-up times.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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