Choosing a daycare can be a minefield for anxiety. After you narrow down your list by location, price, and rates, how can you differentiate between one daycare and another—and get on the waiting list as soon as possible?

First, the American Academy of Pediatrics has an excellent step-by-step guide for what to consider, including qualifications, visiting policies, and child ratios. Jeremy Brown of Fatherly offers up 5 additional red flags to watch out for when looking at daycares. Between an in-person visit to the classroom, sitting down with the owner or director, and talking to other parents, you’ll find peace of mind with your choice.

Key Takeaways:
—Examine the classroom. If safety concerns leap out to you, they should have been obvious to the teacher and director as well.
—Do a quick headcount to be sure the class is abiding by the state-mandated ratios of children to staff.
—Do parents or teachers seem unhappy? Ask about staff turnover.
—Be wary if it seems like certain questions are being avoided, or if you’re getting vague answers.



Becky Patouhas, social media specialist, has been a babywearing educator since 2013. Her favorite part of her job is a tie between seeing all the cute baby pictures and helping parents get that “I can’t believe I can hold my baby AND eat!” moment. A first-generation American and mom of two small boys, she and her family live in Michigan, where she enjoys volunteering with her local babywearing group. Becky loves her Zypora meh dais (she has two!) because they’re so cushy on her shoulders. She always has a Lightly Padded ring sling in her purse because she loves the soft padding, and she thinks Isle of Skye is the best colorway out there!

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