Every day, most of us are inundated with commercials and advertisements trying to get is to switch from one service provider to another — whether it’s our cell phone service, car insurance, cable provider, or any number of things. These are all fairly straightforward decisions to make. If there’s a better deal out there, and the final result is more or less the same, it makes sense to switch. If not, we’re better off staying where we are.
But this is not at all the case when you’re talking about something like daycare. If it were all about the price, it wouldn’t be a very difficult decision. But this is an extremely important “service,” and it has a direct impact on the health, wellbeing, and development of our children. If we’re going to switch daycare centers, it’s going to be because we found something that’s better for our children, not necessarily for our pocketbooks.
That said, there are several situations in which switching daycare providers might make sense.
1. No help with special needs or assisted learning
Many children have special needs, yet relatively few daycare centers are truly equipped and ready to handle these needs in a productive way. There are centers out there with a strong element of assisted learning and special needs — parents just have to look closely in their communities. It may be possible to “get by” without this kind of focus, but why settle when there are better options out there?
2. No staff with medical or dietary knowledge
The way our children eat and drink at daycare should be as much a concern as the way they eat and drink at home — yet many daycare centers out there place little emphasis on feeding children the healthiest, most nutritious foods. On the other hands, there are centers with on-staff dieticians who go out of their way to understanding the unique dietary requirements of each child, as instructed by parents. The result is a healthier and more productive daycare experience — and greater peace of mind for parents.
3. No help with transportation
Getting our children to and from daycare can sometimes be a hassle, given all the other obligations of daily life. What if there were a way to get help with transportation, and what if it was a service you could actually trust. There are actually daycare centers out there who are tackling this problem, with full-knowledge of how apprehensive and protective the parents might be. Professional, certified drivers and staff members riding along — this can actually make for an extremely safe transportation experience, and it can be hugely useful to busy parents on certain days of the week.
Is it time to make the switch?
Obviously this is no super bowl commercial — the daycare center we choose for our children is a very personal and sensitive decision, involving close ties to the community and intimate bonds of trust. Making the switch should be something we do very carefully and deliberately. It’s important to know, however, that parents don’t have to settle for daycare services that don’t meet their needs. Moving to a new center (e.g. a children’s medical daycare center, if your child has special needs or dietary requirements) can be a surprising benefit for busy and close-knit families. One thing is for certain: It doesn’t hurt to know your options!