Childcare Tips for the Mother-to-Be
Another option is family childcare, which is a more casual environment with a limited amount of children enrolled, and is usually less expensive than day care centers. This type of childcare requires you to drop off and pick up your child at the personís home. Often there are charges made if you are late in picking up your child; the caregiver is more like a nine-to-five business and may strictly enforce this rule. These types of childcare providers should be licensed, and the type of care provided is left up to the individual so again, references from other parents are crucial.
Still another option is a day care center, which must be licensed. Your child will be among more children, receiving less individualized care than the previous two types of childcare mentioned. However, there are many benefits to this type longer hours of operation, less stringent rules on pick up and drop off times, and more activities with more children to interact with. The down side may be the more children your child is exposed to the more chance of illness and other problems resulting from interacting with many young children at once.
Before you have your baby is the best time for you to visit your prospective childcare providers. Take along a notepad with you; make notes of any positive or negative items you will want to check into later. Checklists provided by several websites can be printed out, using your notes for comparison. If you are going to be returning to work after maternity leave, having several providers lined up will make your intro back to work less stressful. If you are working out of your home, or work part time, it is still beneficial to have a childcare provider on call for emergencies. This would be a drop-in provider who can be called at the last minute and basically is an on-call provider. Having a drop-in childcare option will also afford you some time to get back into the routine post-baby. Even a few hours a week can give you time to do the grocery shopping, keep doctorís appointments, have lunch with a friend or just get out of the house for an hour.
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