Choosing Child Care
As a single mom, I had to continue working after the birth of my son. This meant finding proper child care for him. I heard all the stories about how expensive it can be and of course, the horror stories on the news of improper care. I decided that I had to treat it like looking for a job.
This meant doing research online and asking friends and family for assistance and advice. In my city, we have a Child Care Council. It won?t recommend providers, but it will send you a list of the ones in your area along with their average price for your child?s age. It tells you how many teachers they have per child and what accreditations or certifications they have. Also, they tell you how to find out if there are any negative reports regarding any of the providers. I also used a website called kidsoutandabout.com for leads.
Along with cost, there are other factors that need to be considered.
Daycare facility or in home care?
What kind of training do the teachers have?
Can they provide references?
Are you able to drop in unannounced?
What is the daily routine and what type of interaction will your baby receive?
After visiting some facilities in my area and receiving quotes of $250 per week, my mom recommended a woman in her church. She did daycare out of her home, had only three other small children there during the day (my son would be the only baby) and she offered a discount because she knew my parents. I was able to view her interaction with the children and her contract was very clear. I knew what to expect if my child became sick, her vacation dates, holidays and that an alternate provider would be needed as a backup.
While out on maternity leave, I took my son over for a few short visits so that he could get used to her and vice versa. Only one of the visits was unsupervised. That was the hardest, but it was necessary. They treated my son like a member of their family and he adored them. He went there until he started preschool this past September. She has since moved away, but they still speak by phone from time to time.
If you had to use childcare, what was your experience like?