It can be a difficult undertaking to find the right childcare in Springfield, MO, for your family.
You want a facility that is affordable, safe, and will provide a suitable environment for your children to learn and grow.
Luckily, Springfield, MO, has many great daycare options available. This article will discuss how to locate and enroll in the best daycares in Springfield, MO.
We will also provide helpful tips on what to look for in a quality daycare facility, questions to ask during your daycare interview, and ways that Child Care Aware of Missouri is here to help assist your family during the daycare selection process.
Researching Childcare in the Springfield, MO, Area, and Scheduling Daycare Interviews
Childcare can be an essential factor when it comes to choosing the right home for your family. Before making any decisions, it is critical to consider researching daycares in Springfield, MO.
Read Reviews About the Childcare in Springfield, MO
One way to do this is by reading online reviews from current or past facility users. This will give you a genuine opinion about the services provided and the safety measures put in place at each daycare.
A few places to find reviews on a childcare would be yelp.com, Google reviews, and the Child Care Aware of Missouri website, where you will be able to find additional information on each childcare as well as reviews.
Ask Locals About Childcare in Springfield, MO
You can also ask around town for others’ experience with specific daycares in Springfield, MO and make sure that the information you are gathering on the facilities in the area is validated and accurate. This is an especially important task to undertake if you’re new to the area, or are unfamiliar with your regions school systems.
Taking this extra step of the research will give you peace of mind knowing that your children’s needs have been considered and help ensure they will have positive experiences while being away from home during the day.
Often, any facility you visit will be on best behavior during potential client tours. It’s for this reason it’s always a solid plan to get feedback from people who have first-hand experienced with what the childcare in Springfield, MO, is like and how it operates.
Other Online Resources for Locating Daycares in Springfield, MO
Research can be challenging; start by gathering information on different services offered in the area and comparing them. You can find much of this information on the Child Care Aware of Missouri Website.
Childcare facilities range from home-based care to larger centers with various extracurricular activities and educational programs, so there really is something for every family, no matter what setting your child learns in best.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few daycares in Springfield, MO, that look promising, make sure to call and schedule a day to visit them in person to get a feel for the environment, meet the staff, and get insight into each center has to offer.
Selecting and narrowing down your list is something which will be unique to every family but be sure to take your time and never rush. All your effort and patience will pay off in the long run with your children attending the best daycares in Springfield, MO.
What Should You Ask During Daycare Interviews?
When you visit a daycare in Springfield, MO, it’s essential to have some questions prepared. While you may think you have all your questions planned out in your head, a daycare can be a slightly hectic place!
For this reason, we recommend having your questions written down on a piece of paper or your phone, as your in-person interview is your chance to ask as many questions as you’d like to!
Here are some key questions that should be asked during any daycare interviews:
- What is the cost of childcare?
- What type of curriculum do you use?
- Are meals and snacks provided?
- How often do children go outside for free play and physical activity?
- Is there an age-appropriate ratio between staff and children?
- How does your facility handle discipline issues?
Additionally, look at the facility’s safety measures, including fire alarms, locking systems, cleaning protocols, etc. This is by no means an exhaustive list. All these concerns can help you understand if this daycare is the right fit for your family.
Let’s investigate each of these categories a bit further.
Cost of Childcare in Springfield, MO
If you are a family who requires assistance for the cost of childcare, you can locate more information on subsides and grants for families by heading over to the Child Care Aware of Missouri website.
There you will find information on sliding fees, which are based off the number of people in a household, the income level, and the number of hours per day a child is in care. Also, you will find explanations on co-payments, your portion of the remaining childcare tuition after the sliding fee and state payments.
Lastly, you will be able to learn more about income-based payments, multiple child discounts, scholarships, and military assistance. Should you have further questions regarding the cost of childcare in Springfield, MO, or the subsidy programs, please contact Child Care Aware of Missouri and one of our staff members will gladly assist you.
Curriculum at Daycares in Springfield, MO
When looking into childcare in Springfield, MO, asking about the facility’s curriculum is an important first step.
The type of curriculum will depend on many factors such as the size of the childcare center, the age of the children being minded, how the age groups are split up, and more.
Ensure that the daycares you select align with where you child is at developmentally as well as their values aligning with your own value system as a family.
Meals and Snacks
Due to the cost of daycare, often this is a make-or-break question. While some daycares in Springfield, MO, will offer breakfast, lunch, and snacks, others may not offer any school lunch, or only a snack mid-day.
If a school is just outside your budget range, but they include meals with their plans, then it’s possible you may be able to fit the school into your budget. For this reason, asking about the type of food served by the school is crucial.
How Often are the Children Allowed Outdoor Time?
With the latest research showing how important getting ample outside time is for children, many schools offer multiple recess times and even bring the classroom outdoors to help the children learn about nature, bugs, animals and the like.
Other childcare in Springfield, MO, may take a more traditional approach with the children at desks, learning indoors, and only going out for a brief play period after lunch.
Really, this is something that depends on each families’ desires and what is important to them as far as their child’s education. If being outdoors is important to you, you should ensure you ask about their playground policies.
Getting a Feel for the Daycare Staff
Making sure you feel comfortable with the Childcare Program staff is essential when searching for the right Daycare in Springfield, MO. Take notice of how many teachers there are per student, and if this seems similar across the board, or if one age group may be short-staffed.
It’s important to ask questions and observe how the staff handle their interactions with the children. Pay attention to their body language and tone of voice, as these can give you a sense of their personality and commitment to providing quality care for your children.
Also, be sure to find out about any extra activities the daycare offers that could benefit your children’s development such as language or physical fitness programs.
Child Placement at Daycares in Springfield, MO
It’s also critical to take the time to ask the daycare what type of placement your child will have.
Many of the best daycares in Springfield will have age-based classrooms tailored to specific age groups. This ensures that everyone gets an optimal educational experience.
Asking questions about these settings is a great way to ensure that you choose the right place for your child.
Waitlists and Deposits for Enrollment
After you have researched potential daycare facilities, interviewed staff, and looked at their safety measures, it’s time to decide which facility is best suited for your child(ren).
Often there will be waitlists or deposits needed to secure placement at certain daycares, so before enrolling your child in a particular Childcare Program, always consider asking about enrollment requirements and whether there is a waiting list.
Different childcare facilities have different policies; some may even offer priority waitlist enrollment if you commit to attending before spots run out.
Don’t forget to inquire about any discounts or subsidies available for families. Many daycare centers offer reduced rates for siblings and/or military personnel.
It’s critical to plan ahead with these processes, as it can take some time before getting approval and securing placement, otherwise, your child may be on multiple wait lists, increasing your out-of-pocket cost and decreasing your chances at getting into your ideal school.
Knowing the childcare facility’s policies upfront will help you make the best decision for you and your child.
Fill Out the Necessary Paperwork and Pay Any Required Fees
Once you have decided on the right daycare in Springfield, MO, for your family, it’s time to fill out those long forms and complete any necessary fees.
Don’t worry; careful planning will make the process smoother than expected!
What Paperwork May be Required for Daycare in Springfield, MO?
The paperwork required for daycare in Springfield, MO, may vary depending on the facility. Generally, most centers will request a registration fee, medical records, and proof of immunizations when enrolling your child.
Additionally, many facilities require parents to submit completed forms regarding their income and financial information that may be used to determine eligibility for subsidies or discounts.
It is always important to check with each childcare center to find out what documents are necessary before enrollment.
Completing the Enrollment Process and Starting at a Childcare in Springfield, MO.
Now that you know how to research and choose a quality daycare in Springfield, MO, it’s time to start the process! Be sure to leave yourself ample time before the end of the registration periods to contact and interview each school on your list.
Read online reviews, tour the facilities in person, and ask about enrollment requirements and fees. Once you’ve decided on a daycare, complete all the necessary paperwork, and pay any required fees. Once you’ve done all these things, your child will be ready to start at the daycare in Springfield, MO, of your choice.
If you have additional questions about enrolling your child in a childcare in Springfield, MO, contact Child Care Aware of Missouri today. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer all your questions, and point you in the right direction to get you on track to enrolling your child(ren) at the best daycares in Springfield, MO.