Choosing Child-Care Assistance for Working Mother

Choosing Child-Care Assistance for Working Mother

Whether you plan to work full or part time, child care will be a vitally important part of your life and is another piece that should be arranged well before coming home with a baby in your arms. There are many options, and each one fits someone’s needs. The possibilities include professional child-care centers, relatives, immediate family who work different shifts, in-home nannies, and other mothers who finance staying at home with their own children by sitting for other people’s children. You can find a safe and comfortable arrangement with any of these solutions, but take nothing for granted and do your homework ahead of time.

You need to define your needs and criteria. The best way to do that is to make a checklist, so that you can rate each child-care option or practitioner that you evaluate (and that includes relatives). Among our concerns would be the following:

— Does the caregiver like children? Is she warm and caring?
— How does this person discipline children?
— Does this person have a plan for emergencies? Medical, staffing, etc.
— Does this person have credentials in early childhood development?
— Are you able to verify that this person has a good reputation?
— Does the environment support your child’s development?
— Is the environment clean?
— What arrangements are made for children with minor communicable illness, for example, colds?
— What is the age of the youngest child accepted for care at this facility? And the oldest?
— Are babies and toddlers mixed in with older children?
— What are the hours of availability of this child care?
— Are you comfortable with this person on an intuitive level?

These questions will reveal important information that you will want to consider before choosing your child-care provider. Add your own concerns, and rank them by order of importance to you. The child-care provider will be a tremendously important part of your child’s life and should be chosen with more care than you would give to buying a cat or even a house.

Michele can attest to the importance of having a back up for your usual child care. Ill health or other problems can affect anyone, and such upsets of the routine seldom happen at convenient times. Michele’s first-line child care was a woman trained as a preschool teacher who cared for children in her home. This woman became ill. Because Michele couldn’t leave her patients high and dry, a back up was needed. Fortunately, across the road from Michele lived a retired schoolteacher who loved children and was happy to take over whenever she was needed. Not everyone has a wonderful neighbor like this, but a back-up child-care plan is absolutely necessary. Don’t wait until you need it to put it in place.

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