Whether you’re expecting your first child or are looking to enroll your second child in a daycare program, it’s never too early to start looking into daycare. As you search for a daycare, you may be looking for high-ranking programs that provide ample benefits for your child.
Unfortunately, with so many families interested in these programs, it’s not uncommon to be placed on a daycare waiting list. Read on to learn more about what it means to be placed on a childcare waiting list and what to expect during the waiting period.
What Is a Daycare Waiting List?
Daycares and other childcare institutions have limited capacities for how many children they are able to provide for. It’s in this limited capacity that daycare waiting lists tend to emerge. Once a daycare has reached its full capacity, it may create a waiting list for additional interested families.
Families may end up on a waiting list for a few different reasons. You may be placed on the waiting list for situations such as:
- Limited availability
- A delayed registration
- Missing daycare requirements
Most times, children are moved off the waiting list in the instance that a currently enrolled child moves or chooses a different route. While the waiting game can be a frustrating experience, there are a few ways that you can increase your chances of moving off the daycare waiting list in the meantime.
Keep reading to learn more about what to consider when on the waiting list and how to move off quickly.
Daycare Waiting List Factors To Consider
Once you’ve been placed on the daycare waiting list, there are a few things to consider while you wait.
The first is the age of your child. Infant daycare centers tend to have the longest waiting lists since they often have the least available spots. If you’re placing your child into a daycare center at a slightly older age, you may have an easier time gaining a spot.
Keep in mind that daycare waiting lists are first-come, first-serve. The earlier you turn in your registration form, the more likely it is that your child will be moved off the waiting list in the situation that a spot opens up.
You should also always register with multiple daycare providers. If your first choice is already full, it’s important to plan for a backup in the instance you don’t move off the daycare waiting list in time.
Even if you’re placed on the waiting list at all of the locations, you’ll have a higher chance of moving off the list. Research and tour multiple locations to ensure that your child has a care provider either way.
We understand that being placed on a waiting list is less than ideal. However, this additional stress can impact your child’s transition into daycare when they are moved off the waiting list. Be patient and use your time on the waiting list to prepare your child for this new chapter in life so the transition for both of you is much smoother when the time comes.
Tips for Moving Off the Waiting List
Although being placed on a daycare waiting list can be a trying experience, there are a few tips for increasing your chances of active enrollment.
Even if a daycare has already filled its spots for the year, submit your registration as soon as possible. The earlier you submit your application, the higher up on the waiting list your child will be placed. This can increase your chances of being accepted.
Talk with family and friends about their daycare experience. You never know the kind of connections your closest network can have. Your next-door neighbor with older children may know just who to talk to in your top choice daycare to get you off the waiting list and enrolled.
Previously Enrolled Sibling
Children with a previously enrolled sibling tend to receive priority. Daycares know the family and understand the convenience that comes with having your children at the same place. If your older child has already been registered with the daycare or has even attended a summer camp with the provider, you’ll likely have an easier time getting your other children into the daycare.
Check Your Status
Don’t be afraid to call the daycares you’ve been waitlisted at and check the status of your registration! Many daycares are great about communicating with families, but it never hurts to call or send over an email. Checking in every so often lets the daycare provider know that you’re highly interested in their program and can reduce some of your stress regarding where your name sits.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should your child start daycare?
Infants as young as 6 weeks old are eligible to start daycare. However, the age your child starts daycare can depend on their personal development as well as your own schedule. If you’d prefer to stay with your child longer than 6 weeks, you can register your child at a later time. Consider your parental leave at work, financial responsibilities, and additional children when making the final decision.
How far in advance should you register for daycare?
The earlier, the better. Many daycare providers offer developmental practices and environments that are extremely beneficial for your infant and toddler. There are a few key factors to consider that can help you decide when to start enrolling for daycare, such as your due date.
Is there a fee for joining the daycare waiting list?
Fees depend on the daycare provider. Some providers may require a refundable fee to hold your place on the waiting list. Most providers, however, don’t require any form of payment to be placed on a waiting list. Check with your chosen daycare providers about this when you register.
Should you remain on a waiting list if you’ve been accepted elsewhere?
This is dependent on each family’s personal circumstances. If you’ve been accepted to another daycare but would prefer your child attend your first choice provider, there’s no penalty for remaining on the daycare waiting list. However, if you’re content with the daycare you’ve been accepted to, it can be beneficial to remove your name from lists and give other families a higher chance of acceptance.
Enroll in a Cadence Education Daycare
At Cadence Education, our top priority is your child’s social, emotional, and academic development. Our trained staff is prepared to assist your child through the transition into daycare and beyond. Your child will grow amongst peers in a nurturing and fun-filled environment.
Enroll your child today in our daycare program and receive the utmost care and attention whether you’re actively accepted or placed on the waiting list.
Find a Cadence Education daycare near you today!