If you're still interested in the program or provider, find out more about the individual caregiver. "Start focusing on: 'Who's going to care for my child, what are the qualifications of that person and how do I feel about that person?'" Smith says.
Here are some characteristics Smith recommends looking for in a caregiver.
- Wants and likes to be with children
- Motivated to work
- Has a sense of humor
- Feels a connection with children
- Has common sense about what a child needs
- Stays calm under pressure
- Has enough physical energy to keep up with your child
- Possesses a positive attitude
"The quality of childcare really depends on the adult-child interaction and how good that is," Smith says. "That requires someone who has the ability to focus in on a child, where she's at, what her needs are (developmentally). The expectations are really important."
Get the NACCRRA's checklist on how to find high-quality childcare.