10 Oct My 7 Tips for Transitioning to Child Care
Transitioning from being at home with a new baby to child care can be terrifying for new parents. I thought I would keep my daughter at home with me until she was at least 1 year old so I was in no rush to look for child care. Unfortunately, I had an unexpected circumstance and this meant I’d need to find care for my 3 month old within a few weeks so that I could get back to work. I had several questions and didn’t know where to start. I made tons of calls and scheduled various tours to find care for my now ten-year-old daughter.
I made it through that process and now I’m just beginning it for my three-year-old son. Here are a few tips (for you AND ME) on making the transition to child care a little easier.
- Apply for childcare well in advance.
- A majority of child care centers have waiting lists, the earlier the better.
- Tour the facility and review their guidelines.
- Ask close friends and family for references on trusted nannies/babysitters or facilities.
- If you live in the Louisville area, try finding a center through Community Coordinated Child Care, also known as 4-C. In Northern Kentucky, check out Children, Inc.
- Create a list of questions prior to interviewing a sitter or touring a center.
- All daycare centers do a criminal background check on their employees. For a nanny or babysitter, you can request a background check. There are instructions on how to begin the process here.
- Follow your intuition.
- If you get the sense that something’s not quite right, ask questions.
- Once your child is in care, have a back-up plan in case of illness.
- Most centers have guidelines that require ill children to stay at home depending on the diagnosis.
- Nannies and babysitters get sick too! 🙂
- Have a plan for inclement weather.
- I’ve also learned that we can’t control the weather! If there’s severe snow or icy conditions, most centers will close or delay especially if your center is located in a rural area.
- Ask the center how they will inform you if they plan to close.
- Get to know the people caring for your child.
- We were fortunate to develop friendships with the caregivers at the childcare center that my daughter went to.
- My last and most important piece of advice is your baby will be okay!!
Child care workers, nannies, and babysitters choose to care for children because they love children! Nowadays some centers have apps that share what your baby is doing throughout the day. Nannies and babysitters can give you updates on your child, as well. It really does take a village to raise a child!