child care arrangement

How to decide on a child care arrangement for your child

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One of the foremost concerns of working parents, is choosing a child care arrangement for their children. While this is a huge task as it is, it becomes all the more daunting for new parents.

Here are the five common types of child care arrangements that are available to parents:

  1. A Daycare Center
  2. A Nanny
  3. A Trusted Relative
  4. One of the parents to stay-at-home.
  5. One parent will work from home then get a helper to look after the child, while the parent is working

And here are the factors to consider in choosing a child care arrangement, the order of which depends on the parents’ priorities:

  1. Safety
  2. Convenience
  3. Budget
  4. Availability of child care arrangement
  5. Location

For families that need double income, the option is usually narrowed down to either a day care or nanny service.

Finding a day care service can be tricky considering the many factors involved including location, cost and availability. Location usually could either be near one of the parents’ offices or near their place of residence. Cost of course depends on the kind of day-care service provides. Some in-home day-cares are cheaper compared to day care centers. However, in choosing an in-home day care provider, trust level should be of utmost consideration since the child will have to be left at the house of the day-care provider and there are no second person available for potential concerns. This as compared to a day care center where, there would be another individual who looks after the child.

Availability is also a factor in choosing a day care center, since in some places day care spots are hard to come by. Some even have to reserve a spot for their children while the mum is still pregnant. The big plus factor that day-care service has, is that it is unlikely that you will find back-up child care because even if the usual day care teacher takes a leave of absence, someone will have to take her place.

Getting a nanny service on the other hand is harder to decide on, considering that parents would have to search for available nannies, and conduct interviews. At the same time they would have to rely on their gut-feel if the person can be trusted not only with their child, but their entire house as well. Comfort level of the child will also have to be considered especially if the child is old enough to decide whether he/she likes a person or not.

There are two options here: a daytime nanny, or someone who will ‘stay-in’ with the family. Obviously the cost of having a stay-in nanny will be higher versus the day time nanny. Once these factors have been considered and a nanny has been chosen, parents can already expect convenience to set in as nannies can also perform other child-related chores like preparing the child’s food, washing the food containers used by the child, even washing the clothes used by the child, and picking up after him. Some other nannies in fact can do light housework, for an additional fee. This is super easy compared to putting the child into day care and preparing everything the morning of, and washing everything that was used the night of.

The problem however takes place when she calls in sick and the parent has to find back up child care. Apart from being expensive, the thought of having to entrust the child to a whole new stranger yet again could be worrisome especially for new parents.

As parents weigh the child care arrangement options available to them, it can be said research and preparation is critical in choosing the best child care arrangement. The best time though to decide on this is before the child is born. This way the parents could research, and prepare more – either financially or logistically – likely leading to gaining peace of mind with their decision.

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