Finding a daycare provider

by beagooddad on March 26, 2007

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The following is a paid review:

Before this school year started, we decided that we wanted Geetle to go to preschool or daycare somewhere. She was jealous from the moment Pookie started going to preschool. We wanted Geetle to have the same kind of fun that 4 year olds have in an organized educational environment. In addition, we wanted her to get the social experience that can only come from playing with other similar aged kids without mom and dad watching over her shoulder.

We had some trouble with our search. We didn’t know Pookie’s schedule until fairly late in the summer and then they switched the time of his class at the last second anyway. Plus Pookie had to ride the bus. None of the programs that we found for Geetle at the time offered transportation. This created a scheduling conflict. If she went to a morning session, she would have needed to get rushed home, quick lunch, and then rush Pookie back outside for the bus. Any afternoon sessions would have been more awkward because the times were so similar to that it would have been impossible to work around the bus schedule.

In the end, we went with the morning session to a preschool about 2 minutes from our house and made the quick turn around work. We briefly talked about looking into some daycare situations including people that watch kids in their own houses. In the end, none of the preschool chains worked out and we didn’t have the time to look into the daycares being run in people’s houses. Since then, we were able to switch her to an afternoon program at the same school which lets her ride the bus to school.

A service like Daycare Bear offers might have come in handy. They allow parents to search for daycare providers based on a variety of search parameters including age of child, available start date, and probably most important, zip code. Using my zip code returned a handful of daycare providers within 15 miles of my house and 31 with 47 miles. Most of the results in my area are people running daycare out of their own homes but not all of them.

When you click to find out more detailed information about an individual provider, you get standard information like phone number and address as well as hours, number of openings, age group, daily rate, and whether they are licensed or not. The provider can also enter a text description describing themselves and their services.

It is definitely enough information to help do an initial screening and get a list of people to call.

The service is free for both parents and daycare providers. The website is quick, easy to navigate and attractive.

Daycare Bear has one main hurdle that could limit its usefulness. They mention that there have been 2150 providers list their services since they launched. I’m sure they have pockets of the country that are well represented and others that have pretty big holes. As they gain popularity and fill those holes, the service will become that much more useful.

If you are looking for daycare providers now that summer is looming, head over to Daycare Bear and put in your zip code to see what is available around you.

If you are a daycare provider, head over to enter your information. It will help make the service more valuable as well as provide a way for local parents to find out about you.

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