Why Location Matters to Parents Looking for Daycare
Parents have a lot to think about in the search for high quality daycare. They need to consider licensing, provider qualifications, health and safety, and cost. They even have to think about location. Yet location is easy to dismiss until after you have chosen a daycare provider and started using it. By that time, it might be too late.
Whether you are talking in-home childcare or a large, commercial daycare facility, carefully consider location. Where the facility is in relation to your home and workplace might turn out to be more important than you think. Keep reading to find out why.
Daycare Center Hours
A daycare center is like any other business in that it has specific operating hours. With the exception of 24-hour daycare providers – which are rare, by the way – any facility you consider will have defined opening and closing times. Location often determines whether those times fit with parent schedules.
What time do you start work? Is the daycare center so close to home that you would be there to drop off before they open? And what about pickup at the end of the day? If the daycare center is quite a distance from where you work, you could have trouble getting there before closing.
Time Spent in the Car
Unlike most of Europe and many other parts of the world, we do not have a robust public transportation system here in the US. We rely on our cars so much that getting through daily life without access to at least one vehicle is more than challenging.
This brings us to the topic of how much time is spent in the car each day. Using a daycare provider located within a reasonable distance from home and work minimizes time spent in the car. The opposite is also true. If your work is just minutes from home while your daycare center is clear across town, you and your child will be spending an inordinate amount of time in the car, five days a week.
Spending so much time on the road can make an already stressful situation even more so. After a long day at the office, do you really want to create a stressful commuting scenario that encourages meltdowns in the back seat?
If none of the previous concerns are a big deal to you, consider emergency access. By this we mean getting to the daycare center and picking up your child in the event of an emergency. How quickly and easily could you do so? It is something to think about.
Your typical commercial daycare center in suburbia is easily accessible by way of major roadways. Such facilities usually have more than ample parking as well. By contrast, a daycare center located in the middle of downtown may not be as accessible. Streets are not as wide, traffic can be difficult, and parking is hard to come by.
Don’t Shortchange Convenience
We can summarize this entire discussion in a single word: convenience. According to Ivy School, convenience is not something that should be overlooked. Do not shortchange yourself here. Why? Because convenience adds to the quality of life. Inconvenience detracts from it.
Both commercial and in-home childcare operations make life easier for parents when they are conveniently located. In a perfect world, you would shoot for a daycare provider located exactly halfway between home and work, and on the very same route. Such finds are rare indeed. At the very least, you do not want a daycare center located somewhere completely out of your way.
Let the search begin.