Top 10 Things to Do NOW for Finding Quality Child Care Services
From Robin McClure, former Guide

Whether it's the return to work after extended time off, a move that necessitates a change in child care providers, or an end to a family member providing quality child care, finding care requires planning, research, and an agreement on what type of care is sought. If finding quality child care is in your future, here are steps to make the transition smooth and a positive experience for both parents and child alike.

1. Establish Your Child Care Services Needs Now
Surprisingly, many a working family has not really thought through exactly what they need in terms of child care services ... or thought through contingency plans, what happens if parents travel, or whether full-time or part-time child care services are required. Do traditional hours work or is an individualized care schedule preferred? Is transportation needed for your child? If your student will be attending school, have you scheduled safe and appropriate child care services?

2. Determine What Type Of Child Care Services You Want
Who do you want to entrust with the care of your child? Do you prefer a daycare that may offer longer hours and more flexibility but may have caregiver turnover or desire care in a home setting? Your home or a caregiver's residence? Does an au pair sound like a sound alternative? Do you require someone to be licensed and accredited or is someone with child care training and first aid knowledge who is good with kids sufficient?

3. Check On Availability...Fast!
Space--or lack of it--comes as a big surprise to many parents shopping for child care services. Summer may bring lighter classes and lower ratios, but come fall or a new year, classes can fill quickly. That's because summer traditionally means vacations, shorter work schedules, alternative care options, and for some career, time at home with children. There's many an assumption that a neighborhood daycare will be bound to have openings, only to find that the particular class or age is full.

4. Review Immunizations And Other Requirements
Are your child's immunizations up-to-date? Some caregivers will not allow child care services to begin until all immunizations are current, forms completed, and a physical within the last year conducted. Others may offer more leniency with a "probationary" period. Rather than trying to schedule a last-minute check-up, look at the entrance requirements and get anything lacking completed now. You'll be glad you did.

5. Find out Specific Supply Lists, Fees, or Other Expenses
Many child care services and caregivers have supply lists, specified clothing, backpack and shoe requirements, and fees. Since fall is considered a new year for many child care service providers, find out now what requirements may be in store...and then plan early. Many centers also offer optional enrichment activities, such as dance, tumbling, or karate, and often those classes fill up fast. Avoid disappointment and create excitement by finding out details now.

6. Consider Alternatives
What if your first choice for child care service is not available or your beloved in-home care provider has decided to retire? Do you have a back-up plan...just in case of _________ (fill in the blank on whatever could crop up in today's overextended, hectic lives). Be sure to know what your options are if your hours for care end at 6 p.m. prompt and you have a required late-night project deadline and need to stay at work.

7. Prepare Your Family
Hardly anyone doesn't become a little lax in the routine in the summer months or when a parent remains at home with an infant or young child...and any work or child care changes will require adjustments for all family members. Make the last days of an existing arrangement a priority to spend together, and then positively begin the transition for the new quality child care plan.

8. Plan Child For Adjustment
If your child is old enough to reason with, now is a good time to start discussing what exciting plans or activities are in his or her future with child care services. Does the start of the year means earlier wakeup times? (Often, even if one child is in child care services only, often there is a sibling attending school, which creates added stress in routines.) Consider organization options such as picking breakfast the night before and laying out clothing choices.

9. Re-establish The Child Care Services Routine
Many a harried parent promises that a firm routine helps the morning insanity stay at least a tolerable level. Young children utilizing child care services can still learn to wake with an alarm clock and put on clothes. Bedtime schedules and routines--which often get extended or ignored entirely during summer months--should be re-established. Build enthusiasm with your child by talking about fall and what that means in terms of weather, activities, child care, and fun.

10. Evaluate: Listen To Your Child's Input & Feedback
Listen...really your child. You might be surprised at what you learn about his care. Find out what's important and what his favorite likes or dislikes are; or whether she's making new friends. Encourage new interests and allay any fears. Even toddlers can communicate simply and signal overall satisfaction or distress. Talk with your child's provider, ask for feedback, make sure you as a parent are doing all you are supposed to be doing on your end, and then relax!
  Fort Discovery Day Care, Inc.

(845) 649-4152

Where every day is full of new discoveries!

Our Program

Where every day if full of new discoveries!

Since I first established Fort Discovery Day Care in 2006 I have found my job to be more rewarding than I ever imagined.  I have had the privilege of watching the littlest people grow into inquisitive, bright, funny, compassionate toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners right before my eyes.  Fortunately, being a family day care provider, I am able to continue caring for many of these children before/after school and during summer vacation.  I have a bond with these children and hopefully, I have had a positive influence in each of their lives. I know they have in mine!
At Fort Discovery we don’t provide basic child care. Exploring and trying to understand the world is natural and necessary for children’s cognitive and intellectual development.  We support and guide this process by responding to children’s interests with new learning opportunities, and to their questions with information and enthusiasm.  Cognitive growth also requires healthy development in other areas: consistent physical growth, secure emotional behavior, and positive social interaction.  
Our full preschool curriculum offers fun monthly themes, ranging from Ocean Commotion to Cowboys, Dunes and Deserts.  We use a nationally recognized program which includes language development, literacy, mathematics, science, creative arts, social and emotional development, physical health and safety and social studies.  We learn the importance of respecting our differences and embracing the whole world. 
Developing physically includes large and small motor muscles, coordinating movements and using the senses.  Our monthly music genres allow us to dance and move each and every day, while a good game of kickball against our school-age kids proves to be good for our spirits!  We have materials, equipment and plenty of opportunities for indoor and outdoor activities that encourage our physical development, while also being just plain fun. Our playground offers swings, slides, see saws and climbing equipment.  
Have I mentioned our gardening?  Each spring we prepare and plant our own vegetable and fruit garden.  Again, all ages work together to make this a purely delightful experience.  Tending a garden benefits the body, mind and spirit of children.  Reaping the rewards together, we eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I have found this to be a great way to give the children the confidence to try new foods.
While my staff and I are required to complete a minimum of thirty hours of training every two years, we far exceed that.  For us, providing our families with exceptional quality child care is just the beginning.  Assuring that we can meet the individual needs of the children, requires that we continue to learn, grow and explore as they do! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or would like additional information on our program.


Lisa Pesola
Child Care Provider
Fort Discovery Day Care, Inc.

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