Location is almost always one of the top considerations. It is wise to put careful thought into where your child's provider is located in relationship to your home, workplace or business or an older sibling's school and so on. Some may think the obvious choice is a facility closest to mom or dad's work. However, the real question is, which parent has the most regular schedule and stays in the same location for the most time.

If either parent participates in flex-time, has unusual hours or works in the field that will need to play into the decision. Another consideration may be a grandparent or other extended family member who may often deliver and/or pick the child up from child care?

Traffic patterns are definitely part of the equation and should be taken into account. Traffic and commute challenges also raise the question about whether "to commute with" or "not to commute with". If the child care provider will be a reasonable distance from home, some parents prefer not to have their child in the car for extended periods of time. Yet, conversely, some parents enjoy the interaction with their child during the commute time and/or enjoy taking advantage of the carpool lane. Don't forget to calculate in extra gas usage if you will be deviating significantly from your normal route twice a day on your way to and from child care.

Clearly, there are numerous choices to assess, yet, the main influencing factor remains, who is closest to the child most of the time. In the event of illness, injury, family emergency or other situation that might require you to quickly retrieve your child, close proximity is key.

And finally, the transitioning from home to child care will be an adjustment every day for your child. Therefore, it will be important to choose a location that will facilitate as smooth a morning drop off as possible.