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BACK TO SCHOOL: What to know when finding child care

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- If parents or families are looking for childcare or just trying to check out their options, there are some things to keep in mind.

Kelly Borchardt, Executive Director at Childcaring in Central Wisconsin, said that there are a few things you can do in advance to help accommodate any last-minute interruptions or changes.

First, she said to consider adjusting your or your partner's work schedule if possible.

Then consider what close relatives friends or neighbors would be able to help out, and have those conversations with them to see when they'd be available.

If none of those options will work for you, that's where she said that Childcaring comes into play.

"You just don't know if your childcare program can accommodate your children every single day. Most of the time, childcare is fairly reliable. However, things happen, and other children get sick, and really, as a parent, you should always have a backup plan," Borchardt said.

She added that a backup plan is especially important if parents don't have the type of job with the flexibility to have paid time off.

Borchardt said that there are some questions to ask yourself and potential childcare providers before making a decision.

She said that it's not always just about if the program is licensed or certified, but also where parents feel comfortable having their child, as well as where the safest place is for parents and their families to find childcare.

Borchardt said that things to find out when considering childcare include:

  • What is the childcare provider like to your child?
  • Are they getting down to your child's level?
  • Are they talking and reading to your child?

"Finding quality childcare is one of the most important things that you can do for your child. So many of the social-emotional skills are learned in early childhood," Borchardt said. "So you can't have a more important decision as a parent to make, is who is going to care for your children when you can't."

She added that especially now with COVID-19, finding out if the place is safe and clean is also important.

Jade Henschel

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