by Michele Gee
Are you looking for child care in Asheville?
The personal factors that your family needs to consider include educational philosophy, finances, hours of need, and location preference. Having a clear understanding of what your family requires is the first step to finding what you are looking for, but some flexibility may be helpful.
Beth Kowalski of Mountain Child Care Connections stays up to date with which centers have openings for particular age groups with weekly reports from area providers. She is a great resource and welcomes parents to call her for a free phone counseling session. She covers topics that include child care quality indicators, what questions to ask would-be providers, star-ratings, and current openings and locations. Her phone number is 877-752-5955.
Another great resource is ncchildcare.net where information on all the centers in the 13 counties of Western North Carolina can be found. On this site, you are able to set parameters based on location, type of facility (in-home or center), age, etc. You can also discover details on complaints made against a particular center and if they were substantiated.
An out-of-the-box solution that many parents are attempting is child care cooperatives. In this model, each parent takes a shift in watching the babies/children and then is allowed the opportunity to leave their child at other times. From what I have seen, this requires very diligent and clear communication and obviously, the right combination of involved families!
One last interesting child care option if you have extra space in your home is hosting an au pair. Typically, an au pair is someone who travels from another country to do a long-term homestay with a family as a live-in nanny. They do things like pack lunches, drive children to school, cook, and provide child care. At aupaircare.com you can find more information about au pairs and locate a great match for your family.
It is rarely an easy decision to send a little one into someone else’s care, so this may be an emotionally challenging hurdle for many parents. With the right support and good information, you will hopefully feel like you are prepared to make the best choice for your family. Good Luck!