As a mom, you’d like to be there at all times to care for your kids. However, it’s not realistic to think that you can dedicate every moment of every day to your offspring. If you plan to have a career outside the home, that’s particularly true.
Whether you plan to work outside the home part-time or full time, you’re probably going to need to locate a reliable child care facility, babysitter, or both. If you can find a suitable daycare center and a babysitter, it gives you a lot more flexibility to pursue your outside interests. This is helpful both if you want to make money to support the family and also if you have hobbies or need some alone time every once in a while.
You must find both a daycare center and a babysitter that you can trust, though. Let’s look at some ways for you to do that.
Finding a Suitable Daycare Facility
Choosing a qualified daycare for your child might take a little while. This is not something where you want to make a snap judgment. Also, you have probably heard all kinds of horror stories about neglectful daycare facilities where accidents, abuse, or neglect have occurred, and obviously, you need to prevent any of that from happening.
Realistically, it’s probably safe to say that the internet is your greatest tool as you’re trying to find out about the daycare possibilities in your area. You can find out just about anything on the internet these days if you know how to look for it.
One thing you can definitely do is try some SEO-based Google searches. They should be keyword-specific. Let’s say you live in New York. You’ll want to try options like “the best daycare near me,” “the best daycare centers in New York,” and so forth.
That should pull up some possibilities. The next step is to visit each of their websites and see what the online reviews are like.
Next, you can visit those facilities. You can talk to the staff, but you should also speak to some of the other parents who you see dropping their kids off.
You can do some online searching for the administrators and staff members who run the facilities that you’re considering. If any of them have negative feedback or pending investigations, you need to pay attention. You’ll also need to make sure that you can afford the daycare centers that top your list and that they have availability at the times of day or evening when you most often need daycare help.
Finding the Right Babysitter
You can use many of the identical tactics when you hire a babysitter or look for one. You might deviate from the formula a little bit, though, and talk to your friends with kids who are in your youngster’s same age group. They might use a particular babysitter or service already.
If they refer someone who they say that they love, you can give that person a call and talk to them about their availability. If they seem to have the qualifications you want and charge an hourly rate you can afford, you might try them out. They get major bonus points if they know CPR or have any other medical background or notable certifications.
If you don’t have any friends who have kids your age, you might also Google keyword phrases like “the best babysitting services near me.” In the past, most babysitters were self-employed. That’s not as common these days.
It’s more likely that the babysitters you find who do the job professionally have signed up with an agency. The agency will take a commission, but they’ll also thoroughly vet the individuals who sign up with them. This way, you’ll know that the candidates are more likely to be qualified since they probably had to pass a background check for the agency to approve them.
What Else Should You Know About this Process?
So far, all of this sounds simple enough. However, with babysitters and daycare centers, there are certain other intangibles. The biggest one is how your kids get along with the caretakers in question.
You might locate a daycare facility and decide to try them out by taking your child there for an introductory session. If you pick your kid up a few hours later, though, and they say they didn’t like the experience, you might decide to go with another facility for that reason.
You’ll have to use your best judgment in determining whether your child’s complaint is valid. If the facility took great care of them, but your child simply has separation anxiety, then it’s hardly going to matter how good or bad the facility is. You’ll have to convince your child that spending some time apart from you is okay, rather than taking them to a different daycare center.
With the babysitter, it will be the same. If the kid gets along well with the sitter, then that’s a point in their favor. If the child doesn’t like them, you’ll have to listen to their reasons why and decide whether they are valid.
One way to do this is to stay with your child that first time at daycare or stay with the child and the babysitter at home for a few hours the first time they visit. That way, you can witness the interactions between the kid and the staff or the babysitter yourself. If you feel like they’re doing an exemplary job, you can feel better about going off and doing what you have to do, even if your youngster isn’t happy about the situation.
If you have a particularly clingy child, they’re not going to like spending time away from you the first couple of daycare or babysitting sessions. They should adjust, though.
It’s healthy to spend time apart from your child as they get older, and having some time for yourself isn’t the worst thing in the world either.