How to change daycare providers for your child

At some point, if you are working parents, your child will inevitably attend daycare. What happens if you don’t like your daycare provider or need to change facilities for any reason? This article covers how to change daycare providers.

Our first choice daycare was not a good fit for many reasons. After three long months, we decided to change daycare providers.

It turned out to be one of the best decisions we made as first-time parents. Our current daycare is absolutely amazing and we are very happy with the teachers and the facility.

When we decided to switch daycare providers, there was definitely some uneasiness as far as ending the relationship with our “first choice” daycare.

We didn’t end the relationship on bad terms but there were a lot of things I didn’t like about the facility, the director, and their business.

Even though we knew that we were making the right decision in leaving behind this daycare facility, I was still very nervous about how to change daycare providers.

So, here is the story of our experience and some helpful tips to ease the transition to another facility.

How to change daycare providers

We finally made the decision to change daycare providers. It was a very tough and emotional time for us as parents.

What was on the other side of our decision to change daycare providers? Were we doing the right thing? What if the next facility was not a good fit as well? How would my daughter adjust?

There were so many thoughts and questions running through my mind at this time. I had a lot of fear and anxiety over the decision.

Part of me felt that I was tearing my infant daughter away from the only caregivers she knew other than ourselves.

Ultimately, we had to have faith and hope that things would be better for us and our daughter. We were making this tough decision because we love her.

Choosing a new daycare and timing

how to change daycare providers

Prior to giving our notice of termination to the daycare, I started visiting other daycare facilities and asking about availability and waitlists. Some facilities didn’t have much availability or had long waitlists.

I wanted to make sure that we had another spot secured prior to ending our relationship with the daycare facility.

So, if you have the slightest inkling that you might want to change daycare providers, start looking as soon as you can.

Luckily, when I visited our current facility, the director told me there would be a child transitioning to another room in about a month. I immediately filled out their application and paid the deposit to secure her spot.

After I secured my daughter’s spot at the new daycare facility, I promptly turned in the termination letter. My daughter’s last day at the first daycare facility was on a Friday and we started the new daycare on the following Monday.

For a comprehensive list of national daycare providers and more information on child daycare in general, visit

Termination notice

Most daycare providers generally require a two-week termination policy. This should be in the contract you sign upon enrollment or the daycare’s handbook.

Unfortunately, my daughter’s daycare required a thirty-day termination notice. Even though I knew this when we signed the contract, it still seemed like an absurd amount of time, especially when we really wanted to change facilities.

Unfortunately, my daughter’s daycare required a thirty-day termination notice.

Items to include in the termination letter

  • Date of letter
  • Address letter to daycare facility and/or the director
  • Reference their own policy regarding termination and state that you will be honoring it
  • List your child’s last day at the facility in the letter
  • Sign the letter and include contact information

In my termination letter, I chose not to include the reason why we were terminating the relationship.

Even though I had a laundry list of reasons why we were ending the relationship, I wanted to be civil. I didn’t want to end on bad terms or regret anything that I wrote in the letter.

If you’re ending the relationship because you have to move, or your child is going to kindergarten, or you’re becoming a stay-at-home parent, then it might be good to include that in the letter.

One thing that helped me was remembering that this is ultimately a business relationship. If you’re overthinking this like I was, a good rule of thumb is to state the facts and get straight to the point.

There doesn’t need to be a bunch of fluff in the letter, I mean, unless you want there to be.

Delivering notice of termination

I personally handed the letter to the daycare director and followed up by email on the same day. The email is proof of notice. Maybe that was the lawyer in me but I didn’t want to deal with any type of issue in ending this relationship.

The reason I took the extra steps to cover myself was that the facility didn’t have the best business practices, in my opinion. So, I wanted to be extra clear in our intention to disenroll our infant.

Try not to get caught up in the emotions

The decision to change daycare providers is an emotional one. Not getting caught up in the emotional aspect of it is easier said than done.

Even though we felt that this facility was not a good fit for us, I felt a lot of anxiety and dread at the thought of ending the caregiver relationship and starting over.

With a child, there is so much at stake and I wanted to take the proper steps. We wanted to do the right thing.

It’s good to recognize that you’re going through a pretty big, tough decision for your family. At least that’s what it was for us.

Making the transition

how to change daycare providers

Any transition for infants or toddlers can be rough. My daughter was six months old when she started attending her current facility.

Even at six months, she knew that she was not in her normal surroundings. She had a rough first day at the new facility and the caregiver told me that she cried on and off, which made me a little sad.

After the first day, every day got a little better. I remember my daughter was pretty exhausted that first week with all the new stimuli. Allow for extra rest for baby and parent.

Give your child at least a full week to make the transition.

Final thoughts on how to change daycare providers

It turns out there is magic on the other side of a difficult decision. We are still enrolled at the same facility almost a year and a half later.

The facility has gone through ups and downs during the pandemic, including a shutdown due to positive Covid cases, yet they continue to prioritize the care and safety of the children. As a parent, I trust that my daughter is in good care.

Though the decision to change daycare providers was emotionally difficult, I am so glad we did it. If you’re wondering how to change daycare providers, I hope this article provides you with hope, inspiration, and direction.

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