Thinking of enrolling your child in a day care center? If so, you’re on the right track: day care provides many benefits to small children!

Unfortunately, getting a child into day care can be stressful. If you wait too long to apply, you’ll find yourself on the dreaded day care waiting list. At this point, you may need to expand your search further from home.

To avoid this situation, it’s best to secure your day care spot as early as possible. Read on to find out how you should navigate this situation!

Why Is Day Care Enrollment So Hard?

First things first: why is the child care industry so competitive? After all, its market size keeps increasing and should reach $91.68 billion by 2030.

One way or another, it all goes back to the pandemic. During COVID-19, the government issued a funding program to support child care providers. That money is now gone; but inflation is still around.

With providers’ costs increasing with inflation, recruiting workers became a struggle. As a result, many day care centers across the country have closed, creating more demand for the remaining ones.

When Should You Start the Search?

In general, it’s never too early to start looking for day care. That said, the exact “right” time to start will depend on the following factors:

  • How soon you need day care
  • Whether you need part-time or full-time care
  • The type of care you’re looking for
  • Your priorities and schedule
  • Availability and demand in your area

Keep in mind that finding the perfect day care service takes time. You’ll need to do research, conduct interviews, visit day care centers, and so on. You’ll also want to get this process rolling in time to account for any delays.

Perfect Timelines for Your Child

The two main types of child care are infant care and toddler care. Here’s how these options differ and how this can affect enrollment timelines.

Infant Care

If you need infant care, you should start looking at day care services as early as possible. Ideally, you would start doing your research into available day care services during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Why start so early? Simple: most child care facilities operate on an “early bird gets the worm” basis. Even if you don’t find an immediate opening, you’ll get a grace period in case you end up on a waiting list.

Toddler Care

Not looking to use childcare until your child is older? If so, you can begin your search later, depending on the quality of options in your area. Even so, you should begin at least a year before your desired start date.

Keep in mind that child care enrollment fluctuates throughout the year. This depends on factors like enrollment capacity. Even if you don’t plan to enroll right away, you should know how day cares near you function.

Find Your Ideal Day Care Center Today!

Choosing the right day care center for your child is a big decision. Start your search early enough, though, and you’ll have time to explore your options!

Interested in day care services in Oceanside, CA? At Rising Star Academy, we offer child care programs for kids ages 6 weeks to 11 years! We don’t have a waiting list at the moment — apply your child now!