Returning to work after a pregnancy is a bittersweet sorrow! Some moms want a little more time to snuggle their babies, and others are ready to get back to feeling like themselves again. There’s no shame in either!
Before it’s time to go back to your job, you need to start thinking about childcare options. Luckily, there are many options to choose from for any type of parent.
Even if you’re in between jobs, you might need someone to watch your baby while you go to interviews, doctor visits, or just to take care of business. Whether you’re working, staying at home, or have a hectic schedule, there is a childcare option out there for you!
First, let’s talk about the basics. Childcare centers(more commonly known as "daycares")are extremely common among working parents.
Daycare centers offer daily support for your baby. So that the kids can get along with each other, they divide the classes by age and developmental milestones. Daycares have hourly activities and care, where they offer meals, snacks, naps, playtime, and learning opportunities.
Childcare centers are great places to begin getting your baby ready for social interaction with other children.
Some daycare centers offer Head Start or Early Head Start programs. These are federally funded programs that gear daycares toward school readiness for children ages 1-5.
These facilities are arguably the most affordable option for childcare. Most of the time, they charge a monthly fee, but many of them accept vouchers from the state government.
Legitimate family daycares are still state-licensed and regulated. These are daycares held inside a home, often with fewer children. Family daycare centers can be even less expensive and a little more convenient.
If you hate the thought of leaving your baby at a facility all day, you’re not alone! Parents will find it easier and more comforting to hire a nanny or someone to care for their child at home.
Hiring a nanny gives you the power to choose the perfect caretaker for your child. You can lay down the rules, schedules, and curriculum, and even throw in a few other chores if you’d like.
Many nannies are experienced, educated, and certified in CPR and other technical and medical advantages. They will engage with your baby in a one-on-one environment that you and your child are most comfortable in.
Nannies typically charge by the hour or the day, but if you need a regular nanny they may allow you to pay them weekly or biweekly. You can find them using online resources or browsing through agencies that have certified childcare providers.
Between the ages of 3 and 5, your toddler will need to start getting ready for school experiences. Preschool or pre-kindergarten programs offer educational settings to get them (and you) prepared for elementary school life.
Preschool programs can be found in many places, including elementary schools, daycare centers, community centers, and churches. Their teachers are educated, typically with college degrees, and many years of experience in a school environment.
These programs allow parents to begin seeing where their child thrives and falls short in terms of educational development. You both will be given tools to help them grow and learn in the best ways possible.
Many preschool programs are just as affordable as daycares or schools. They typically only take up part of the day, and many licensed facilities allow daycare vouchers.
Mother and father know best! If your job allows you to work from home, you may wish to care for your baby yourself at home.
Many jobs are becoming more accepting of a work-from-home atmosphere. Your baby can continue to be cared for uninterrupted.
Stay-at-home opportunities can sometimes evolve into homeschool environments, which may require a second set of hands. You might consider hiring part-time childcare assistance, so you can focus on one thing at a time.
Still, staying at home and taking care of your baby while you work or while your partner works is very common among parents who like the comfort of their own homes. This way, you can save money, create your own lessons and curriculum, play with your own toys, and see for yourself how your baby grows and develops.
Don’t get too caught up inside, though! Daycares and schools schedule a little bit of outdoor time. You’ll do good to enlist some of this time also, so you and your little one won’t go stir-crazy being cooped up inside. A little sunshine will do you both some good for your mental and physical health!
Find the Right Child Care Solution for You
Do your research! You want you and your baby to have the best experience possible. You need to be comfortable and know that your baby is safe, and your baby needs to be well looked after and thoroughly taught and cared for.
Never settle for less when it comes to giving your baby the best possible care there is. Find the right combination of affordability, safety, education, and convenience.
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