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Factors to Consider in Making the Daycare Decision

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Factors to Consider in Making the Daycare Decision

The daycare decision is one of the most important first decisions parents will make regarding the care of their child. Naturally you want the best for your child and that means making the best decision regarding how your child is cared for while you are at work. While there are a number of options available, deciding which option is right for you and your child may not be so simple. To help you in considering all factors, read the tips below.

First, do be sure to consider all of the options. Don’t automatically just dismiss an option before you thoroughly investigate it. There are basically three types of childcare options. They are: in-home care, family care and facility based care. In-home care involves the caregiver coming to your home to care for your child. This could include a nanny or an au-pair. Typically this is the most expensive option for many families. Family care involves your child going to the caregiver’s home. This can be an affordable option for many families and also provides your child with the warmth and security of a family environment with a limited number of other children in the setting. Facility-based care typically involves a center that is equipped and staffed to handle large groups of children.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these options. For example, while family-based care can be quite reasonably priced, you may have a problem if your caregiver becomes ill or has an emergency and you’re left in the lurch at the last minute. With facility-based care, care is typically on available during specific hours. If you need to leave for work very early or you typically work late, this could be a problem as well. The major factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing which type of care will best suit your needs is location, need for flexible hours and budget.

Regardless of which option you choose, don’t forget to do your research. Whether you are hiring a nanny, considering a family care home or looking into a daycare facility take the time to find out whether the individual or organization has ever had any complaints filed against them, whether they are licensed, what kind of training they have and whether they can provide reputable references.

Seeing is believing. Always check it out for yourself. Make sure you visit the facility in question or meet with the caregiver before you sign up your child. Look for child to staff ratios in daycare facilities and family-care homes. For babies up to twelve months, there should be no more than a two babies per caregiver ratio. For toddlers up to two years of age that ratio is 2:1.

Taking the time for you to get to know the worker as well as for your child to get to know them. Remember the importance of communication. If there is a problem, discuss it with your childcare worker immediately.

Remember that while it is natural to feel some guilt and anxiety, most children do make the adjustment to childcare quite well. As long as they are provided with consistent, nurturing care, babies tend to do just fine. There may be some additional problems if your baby is a little older but making sure you spend some extra time with him or her when you’re not working should help to soothe any anxiety and separation issues.
Taking the time to best understand all of your options and how to approach them can assure that you make the best decision for your child and your family.