Many parents are very cost-conscious when it comes to child care, realizing that the number of hours they need for child care can add up to quite a large chunk of their household expenses.
However, parents do well to remember that arranging child care is not like buying a new television; cost shouldn’t be the utmost concern.
Remember, your child will be with their caregiver for many hours every day or week. How a caregiver treats them can go a long way toward building their self-esteem and assurance or actually destroying it.
According to the Academy of Pediatrics, you should make sure that your child care arrangements, whether in your home, another’s home, or a facility of any type, offers:
§ A warm, nurturing, attentive, developmentally appropriate and intellectually stimulating home environment. § Small child to adult ratio, with consistent long-term adult caregivers. § Good parent/staff communication.
If you have any types of concerns regarding your child care provider, be sure that these are addressed immediately, and if you’re not satisfied with their response, you may do well to consider changing providers or making adjustments to your arrangements.Childcare Aware is committed to helping parents find the best information on locating quality childcare in their community. You can find your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRRA) on their website, or call 1-800-424-2246. They offer a checklist of 38 research-based indicators of high-quality care.
If you are planning to work after your baby is born, you should shop around for childcare while you are pregnant. Choose several quality programs (see below) and get on their waiting lists, even if you have arranged for Grandma or a friend to care for the baby. Waits can be as long as a year and a half for daycare for babies!