Child care: Experts say to know your options

Start looking 3 months into pregnancy

INDIANAPOLIS - Picking a child care provider is no easy task.

New state laws bringing tightened restrictions should help -- but in the meantime, experts have tips.

Fishers mom-to-be Ashley Wiley said she can't wait to meet her baby girl in October, but her stress levels were rising over who to pick for child care.

"I've looked at in-home day cares, I've looked at church facilities, I've looked at day care facilities," Wiley said.

Research takes time and experts at Angie’s List suggested to start early.

In fact, they think the best time to start looking is when a mother reaches the three-month mark in her pregnancy, because there are often wait lists to join and deposits to pay.

"We're working for a combination of three things for a day care: price being one of the things as well as safety for our child and also location," Wiley said.

Experts said to also make sure the children are present during the interview process to see how the applicant interacts with them.

"You want to make sure that you've got your child in a loving, safe environment. But in a recent Angie's List poll, 20 percent of the respondents didn't even check whether their child care provider was licensed or had the proper credentials and that is something you must do," said Angie Hicks of Angie’s List.

Angie's List experts suggested that parents take a few minutes each day to talk with their child care provider.

That way, parents can have a deeper understanding of what he or she does with their child during the day.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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