If you're looking for a day care this school year, or possibly even this summer, the 11Alive Help Desk has a few key things for you to keep in mind.
Start your search early. Give yourself plenty of time to do your child care search properly. This gives you time to make multiple phone calls and even visit the facility. Many organizations provide good starting points. Quality Care for Children provides an online search tool and a hotline to connect you with child care experts. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning's Bright from the Start program provides information for families on family day care homes, group day care homes and child care learning centers.
RESOURCE GUIDE: Child care referral agencies
RELATED: Help Desk: Identifying quality rating for area child care programs
Make sure your child care provider has the proper license, or even look for one with an accreditation. These programs usually have higher standards than the state licenses and will provide more than basic care for your child.
When you visit the facility during your search, take a look at the environment. Make sure the facility is clean and safe. The play area must be free of hazards and any equipment must be in good condition. Check for safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher, smoke detector and a fire evacuation plan.