Best Daycare Center in Missoula, MT for 2020

the top-rated daycare providers in the garden city

Looking for the best daycare provider in the Garden City? We’ll be announcing our top-choice soon, but in the meantime here are a few things to consider when picking the best provider for your kid(s).

When you first realized you were going to have a kid, or even multiple kids, you probably felt overwhelmed at the responsibility of raising them and keeping them safe. You might have sworn to yourself that you’d never leave them. In fact, if you or your parenting partner wound up being a stay-at-home parent, you likely enjoyed years of spending all day with your kids. However, this rarely lasts forever.

Unless you stay out of work or work only from home and homeschool your kids, eventually you go back to work and they head out to school. However, their school day might not last your entire work shift, and there will be days school is out.

In those cases, you need a daycare to look after them. Even if you don’t do it regularly, you might need temporary arrangements when your regular babysitter or relative who cares for them is unavailable to look after your loved little ones.

Of course, you want the best daycare for your situation, but how do you figure that out? It’s up to you to choose the right one, but you can narrow down the possibilities around your community using the following six questions and the answers you come up with to them:

1) What has a convenient location? You’ll probably think you want something close to home so you don’t have to drive far dropping them off or picking them up, and you might think something close to your work is also a good idea. However, what about your kids? Something close to their school can prove incredible if they need a place to stay between classes and you coming home. Can they walk there? Is there a shuttle service provided by the daycare that picks them at school?

2) Who has hours that fit you? On top of the locations fitting your normal commuting or pattern of errands, you also need something that has hours that suit you. Some daycares only run during traditional banking hours and shut down at 5:00 P.M. promptly. That’s not going to work for you if you get off at that time exactly and need time to drive there.

3) What are the prices like? While it’s obviously necessary to find the best possible daycare for your kids, schedule, and location, the place also has to fit your budget. It’s often not cheap, and you get what you pay for, but some places are going to provide more bang for the buck than others.

4) Is your kid going to be safe there? When it comes to daycare safety, you need to look into three things. First, is your kid safe from the outside world? Second, is the child safe from the staff? Third, will your child be safe from his or herself and other kids? This is where it really pays off to dig into the background of a daycare, ranging from online customer reviews to official complaints to Better Business Bureau ratings. Also look into regulatory matters like licensing and insurance.

5) Will your child be doing things there? Some daycares just put all the kids into a group area and make sure they’re safe and not going anywhere, but good ones are going to have activities, social engagement, and possibly even physical activities in a secure but outside area.

6) Does the daycare have an upper age limit in effect? Some daycares have a cutoff age at which they no longer take children. It varies depending on the establishment, but the reason it matters is if you have multiple kids you want to keep together. If you have two kids who are several years apart, for instance, it’s possible a daycare might only take care of one while refusing to provide service for someone turned into a teenager. That can mean you have to come up with two arrangements at once, which can be problematic.

Once you ask yourself these 6 questions and come up with good answers for them, you’ll more than likely be able to narrow down the list of daycares in your area down to the ones that are best for you and your family.