Tag Archives: Parenting

A Checklist of Child Care Providers

My son and I after his samba drum performance for Ainsworth Elementary (2007)

With the birth of our daughter coming up quick in February 2012, I’m doing my best to get my life as organized as possible. This includes creating a list of potential child care providers in the Portland, Oregon, area. I figured it’s best to do this while I’m still fairly clear-headed and not under the added pressure of preparing to go back to work, as well as sleep deprivation.

Referrals are usually the best place to start, so I sent an email to local family and friends asking for recommendations. I’ve received all kinds of advice, from “nannies are the best” to “nannies are too expensive and can be shady,” with the same being said for child care centers. Most of what I’ve read echoes the same sentiment: it boils down to personal preference. I found the article called “5 Steps to Choosing Care” to be particularly helpful. In summary, it says:

  • Start Early (check!)
  • Make a Call
  • Visit and Ask Questions
  • Make a Choice
  • Stay Involved

To manage all the data I’m collecting, I created a list using a Google Spreadsheet – another one of my favorite digital list-making tools. The top row has the following subjects, some of which I pulled from the article “5 Steps” article above:

  • Tier (To easily rank and track favorites)
  • Name
  • Adult to Child Ratio (1:4 for infant)
  • Group Size
  • Caregiver Qualifications
  • Turnover
  • Accreditation
  • Rates
  • Location (General location, e.g. SW Portland, John’s Landing, etc.)
  • Address (Specific address)
  • Tours (When tours take place, if listed)
  • Likes/Dislikes (To be filled out once we visit)
  • URL

The second sheet is a list of resources with name and URL. I tried to keep this one simple to avoid drowning in data. So far it includes:

There are eight providers on the list so far, with two rising to the top based on my initial assessment. The list will undoubtedly grow (and hopefully shrink), but now this gives Dylan and I a framework to make sound decisions. Aren’t lists grand?

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