Going back to work after staying home with your young child can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do as a parent. But the transition can be made easier when you have the right childcare service. When investigating appropriate childcare it’s important to do Mindful research.
First, what are your childcare needs?
Consider your budget (childcare can be expensive), work schedule and the distance of the service from your home or office. Also, decide on your childcare preferences. For instance, does your child need one-on-one attention or a bunch of playmates? Does your child require structured activities or free play?
Types of Caregiving Services
- Formal childcare centers. It’s an affordable option with certified caregivers, a low child-per-adult ratio, and playmates for your child. However, the hours aren’t always flexible and they can’t take care of your child if they’re sick.
- Family daycare. Daycare offers a home environment, a lower child-per-adult ratio, and playmates for your child. However, the caregiver may not always be available and there may not be a certified supervisor.
- Nannies. They’re a convenient means of childcare and your child can stay at home with personalized care. However, it can be expensive, your child may lack playmates and there will be no immediate backup if the nanny gets sick or quits.
- Family/friends. Don’t forget that loved ones make great caregivers; though their availability and compensation/fees will need to be considered.
6 Tips for Picking the Right Childcare Service
- Background check. Check their licenses, references, and accreditation.
- Inspections. Before you pick a daycare or childcare center, be sure to visit and conduct your own inspection of their services.
- Questions. Create a list of questions for the caregivers including things like first aid training, infant CPR and education/childcare training.
- Shared philosophy. See if the caregiver shares your child philosophy. For instance, do you agree on discipline methods? What about soothing techniques?
- Instincts. When picking a caregiver trust your parental instincts. And don’t forget to listen to your child’s feedback too.
- A trial period. If you still aren’t sure, consider giving it a trial period.
For further tips on childcare consider the tips from this She Knows Parenting article.