Every mom wants to be with her baby all the time, but sometimes life gets in the way. When you need to find child care for your little one, perhaps because you have to return to work or have other commitments, you need to know how to go about choosing the right setting.
In-Home Care Or Child Care Center
One of your first considerations is whether you want your baby cared for in a home environment with a child minder or whether you would prefer a more formal day-care setting. Both have their advantages – your little one will be in a more natural setting within a traditional home setting with a child minder, but they may benefit educationally from being in a child care center. Whichever you choose, there are several aspects you should pay attention to before making a decision.
Whether in a home setting or day-care facility, you should look at how the child carer interacts with the children in their care. Do they sit on the floor with them and join in with play? You need to be reassured that your little one will receive the care and attention that they would enjoy at home and will get plenty of 1:1 time.
Babies need consistency so you need to find out how often there are staffing changes and whether your little one will be able to form a close ongoing relationship with their care providers.
You need to be sure that the care provided will be in line with your own beliefs and expectations. Find out as much as you can about the care giver’s policies. For example where do they stand on time outs or sanctions for poor behavior? How are babies laid down for sleep? Will the TV be on all day or just occasionally? These are all pertinent questions to be asked.
Once you have chosen a child care service, make sure that you keep the lines of communication open. This is the best way of achieving consistency between care provider and family and also of resolving any issues before they get out of hand. If in doubt, drop in unannounced a few times just to see how things really work when you’re not expected and if you have any misgivings, don’t forget that you aren’t tied to any arrangement and can choose a different care arrangement.