How to Choose Your Childcare

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When it comes to planning for your baby, finding dependable childcare isn’t quite as fun to talk about as designing your nursery or test-driving a high-tech stroller. But as any parent can tell you, choosing your childcare is one of the most important things you can do to feel prepared. Babies on their tummy.“Your childcare provider or team will do so much more than just care for your child; they’ll create a warm and nurturing environment for your little ones to take their first steps—often literally!—into a world of learning, development, and exploration,” says Christie Pinhiero Director of School Operations at Vivvi. “But they’re also there for your entire family. They’re the family member you didn’t know you were missing, and now you can’t live without.”

Figuring out a childcare solution can feel overwhelming, so we’ve gathered our best recommendations on things to consider during your search. A caregiver reading to toddlers.

1. Consider your options.

Use a local parenting listserv to get ideas about local daycares and ask about nannies that have upcoming availability. A childcare referral or review from someone you know is like gold! If you’re lucky enough to live close to family, that might be an option too. Just be clear about expectations so your new bundle of joy doesn’t become a point of contention. Logistical factors to consider could include hours of availability, cost, experience, and backup plans (what happens when your nanny or Grandma is sick or can’t come in?). 

You may also want to consider what level of management you want to take on—if you choose to go the nanny route, you’ll need to create an employment contract, oversee accounting (including payment, taxes, and benefits), and manage your new “employee” ongoing. Look for a checklist online to ensure you’re not missing any key steps.

Pro Tip: Keep an open mind; you may have been absolutely convinced you were hiring a nanny, then fall in love with a daycare instead, or vice versa! Get the pros and cons of daycare and nannies here.

2. Timing is everything.

If you’re eligible for, and plan to take, parental leave, you might not be thinking about locking in childcare for those first 12 weeks, but having a trusted caregiver in place before your return to work can help ease separation anxiety for both you and your new baby. It will also allow you to get used to a new routine (and a new person!). You may want to start with just a few days of childcare as you shift into work gear, then add more days as you need them. Vivvi’s campuses welcome babies as young as 6 weeks and can accommodate 2, 3, or 5-day schedules. 

Pro Tip: If you’re looking into daycare, ask about waitlists and get on them as soon as possible. A caregiver helping a baby look into a mirror.

3. Think about your work schedule.

From non-traditional hours to hybrid workplaces and more, today’s parents need flexibility. Plan your care for the hours you truly need—not just for work but for things like errands, self-care, and socializing. That’s why Vivvi is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so you can drop off and pick up based on your individual schedule. 

4. Prioritize what you’re looking for in care.

Are you interested in socialization for your little one, or do you want more 1:1 interaction? Is sticking to routine a must-have? What type of learning or education will your child receive for the better part of the day? While health and safety are non-negotiable, there are many different versions of success in a childcare situation. When you’re interviewing a daycare or nanny, ask about the things that feel important to you, and make sure your caregiver is aligned with your parenting preferences.

Pro Tip: Communication matters. Find out how your daycare or nanny will keep you informed throughout the day, whether it’s about naps, diaper changes, or developmental milestones. At Vivvi, we use the Brightwheel app to send real-time photos and updates to families every day.

5. Most importantly, follow your instincts.

The childcare that works for your friends, family, or neighbors might not work for you. Go with your gut and choose the childcare that works for your own child, family, and situation. Remember, it’s ok to change your mind about childcare and make a switch at any time!Vivvi childcare facility.

Vivvi provides exceptional childcare and early learning for ages six weeks to five years. With year-round rolling admissions, unparalleled teacher retention, flexible schedules (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), and leading health and safety, Vivvi meets families where they are. You can find Vivvi in Dumbo, Tribeca, World Trade Center, Hudson Yards, Midtown West, Upper East Side, and Hartsdale (Westchester), N.Y. and learn more at


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