How To Find Good Quality and Reliable Childcare
Finding good quality childcare that suits your particular circumstances is never easy. And it is one of those things which does not seem to get any easier the older the children become. The problems just alter slightly.
So if you are returning to work or are having yet another childcare crisis then here some tips which I hope will help you and instil you with a little confidence.
As a working mum (most of the time), of four children all of which are now pretty well grown up, I have used various forms of childcare including nannies, childminders, a day care nursery, au pairs, baby sitters and mothers helps.
I have suffered a few nightmares – not life threateningly serious, but stressful when you are a full time working mum. At times these situations have knocked my confidence and left me questioning whether I was just being hypercritical, petty and neurotic.
Interestingly now with hindsight I recognise I was not.
And actually even if I was, these are my kids, and the most important things in my life. I have every right to question situations even if that means I am being hypercritical, petty and neurotic.
Over the years I have come across many other Mums who have their trials and tribulations too. But I have also come across amazing success stories where nannies have stayed with a family over many years and even been invited back to nanny for the children of the children they used to look after.
And the day nursery I sent my two youngest daughters to, I can not recommend enough.
So here are some of the things you need to think about before you decide what type of childcare will work best for you.
Would you prefer your child to be cared for in your home?
Do you need flexibility in pick up and drop off times?
What happens if your child is ill?
What will happen if your childminder or nanny is ill, or needs a day off?
How close to home is your childcare situated?
Do you have parents, family or friends as emergency back up?
The reality is if you work full time, then you will probably need a combination of childcare options, or a job which will give you some flexibility to cope with some of the above situations or limitations of your chosen childcare solution.
What to Look for with childcare
Professionalism: whatever form of child care the person looking after your child or children should demonstrate that they are child centred, reliable and are happy to support and work with your childcare requirements. (This by the way includes family and friends).
Listen to your tuition: Whether it is a nursery, registered childminder or a nanny, if you have doubts, listen to them. If you think it might be a duck, chances it is a duck.
Research: Allow plenty of time to research childcare – and if at first you don’t succeed – keep looking. Even if you are just pregnant this is something you can start doing research on. And if you find a day nursery which is perfect put your baby on the waiting list now.
Don’t Delegate: Don’t delegate finding childcare to anyone. Even if you are using an agency make sure you are very much involved. Check the small print and terms of the agency carefully.
References: Always check references and ask for feedback from other mums whose children attend the nurseries.
Hope this will act as a guide to help you find good quality childcare that will fit your personal circumstances.