Childcare voucher alternative, tax-free childcare alternative

How to choose the right Childcare

Whilst using the Childcare Cash Advance Scheme from Catapillr is easy and convenient, choosing the right childcare provider for your family can be more challenging.

So, just how do you choose the right childcare service for your child? Let’s take a look and see:

Before you start – ring the setting and enquire about whether they have spaces for your child.  Many have waiting lists and if you are working to a set plan they may not be able to accommodate you on the days or times you need.

Have a look around – there are many aspects to choosing childcare, and families have differing priorities. Is location a key factor for you?  Close to work or close to home?  A forest school element?  Separate nursery and pre-school facilities?  Established links to local schools?  The list goes on!

The best way to answer your questions and find a setting that everyone feels comfortable with is to visit each provider in person.  Websites will give you a flavour of the ethos of the setting but a visit will give you the opportunity to ask questions and get a real ‘feel’ for the setting.

Whilst there, be sure to pay attention to the way the staff interact with children.  Are they playing with the children?  Do the children seem happy, settled and confident?  Do they look to the staff for reassurance and interact with them?

Look for a range of activities and access to both indoor and outdoor play.  Independent and adult lead activities are both important for your child’s development and these should be evident throughout the setting.  Ask to see where your child will be changed and fed and where they will be sleeping.

A well-run setting will be able to provide menus, timetables and talk you through how the different ages of children are catered for and how their individual developmental needs will be provided for.

Remember to be clear about what is included in the fees. Some nursery fees include food, nappies, snacks and drinks. Others may require you to provide some or all of these things and it is important to be clear about what you are paying for.

Ask for commitment – younger children and infants need to form a bond with their caregivers and to do that effectively, you need a commitment from the caregiver.  If you are considering in-home care, request that the caregiver agrees to a one-year commitment to your family.  If you are looking into a nursery or pre-school setting, ask about their employee turnover rate.  If it is high, then they are not a good fit for your family.

Drop by unexpectedly – many childcare providers will require an appointment for a tour of the facility.  This ensures that you have enough time to ask any questions you might have and helps to ensure the safety of children in the setting.  It also gives the childcare provider an opportunity to create the perfect childcare setting and that might not be indicative of their daily operations.  Stop in unexpectedly with a couple of additional questions and see if the setting still meets your expectations.

Remember – All settings are different.  Choose the setting that you feel most comfortable with.  Check on the availability of places, some settings may have waiting lists.

Cost – is a big factor in childcare services for many parents.  Sometimes childcare costs can become overwhelming leaving parents looking for a financial solution.  This is where Catapillr can help.  With an innovative and new employee benefit called the childcare cash advance scheme, employers can once again help relieve pressure of childcare costs for the employee.

Contact Catapillr

To learn more about how your employer can help you with your childcare costs and the importance of choosing the right childcare provider for your family, contact Catapillr today!

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