Whether you're looking for child care for your first child, your second, or third your search for care begins with having a clear idea of what you want or need for the care of your child. Among the issues you will want to consider are your child's age and temperament, the available care options, the schedule you are seeking, whether you prefer care to be close to home or work, and how much you can afford.
Types of Child Care
There are three primary forms of child care services for children newborn through five years of age. They are: center-based, family child care, and in-home care. Center-based and family child care are both regulated by the City of New York. Because of the short supply of center-based care for infants and toddlers, and two-year olds the majority of families seeking care for this age group tend to rely on family child care or in-home care.
Start Your Search Early
It is important to start your search for child care early. Beginning early will provide you with an opportunity to have a sense of the available care options, give you the time you need to determine your preference in the type of care available, and alleviate the potential stress of making this decision when you need to return to work.
Help Finding Child Care
In NYC, as elsewhere across the country, center-based care or preschool aged children (2.5-4 years) is readily available. On the other hand, services for infants (newborn-12 months) and toddlers (18-24 months) are scarce. In the Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and lower Manhattan neighborhoods waitlists for children in this age group average 12-18 months.
Therefore, if you are seeking care for your young child, a very compelling reason to look for care early is that you will want to place your name on a waitlist. Full-time child care centers programs are accustomed to accepting applications from expectant and adopting parents. The majority of programs do not require a deposit however some program do have a practice of requiring non-refundable deposits to secure your place.
Child and Adult Care Information and Referral
NYU's Employee Assistance Program, Carebridge Life Resources, is available by phone (800-437-0911) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with finding and evaluating child care for your newborn through school-age child.
Talk with a child care specialist to learn about the various child care options and how to choose and evaluate child care, early education and school-age programs for quality. Discuss your preferences and questions about fees and scholarship. Depending upon the age of your child you may want to explore the availability of options near both work and home. Receive a researched and specially prepared, individualized list of referrals with vacancies, written information to assist you with your child care search, and follow-up with you to see if you need additional help or have found care.
For more information on this and other parenting supports, contact the Family Care staff at email@example.com.