Finding a Good Daycare or Nanny

Making the decision to return to work after having a baby is complicated. There are a lot of factors to consider. While you might be eagerly anticipating adult conversation and avoiding diaper duty for a full 8 hours a day, it is important to carefully consider all of your childcare options.

You aren’t the first mama to desire (or require) a job outside of the home. From part-time to full-time, countless women have done this before you and there are a number of different childcare options available to choose from. You’ll want to consider your budget, lifestyle, and personal preference before making a final decision.

Identify

Figure out what you and your family want and need. Is it more convenient for you to have a daycare near work? Or do you need a nanny that can accommodate your off-cycle work hours? Are there particular values or religious beliefs you want the childcare center to embody? Would you prefer a classroom-style daycare with structured routine that will prepare them for school or the more casual environment of a home?

Research Reputations

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a daycare or nanny that you trust. If you live in a new city or don’t have those resources, the next best bet is the Internet. Online resources such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children can be great tools. You should be able to find parent reviews (both positive and negative) regarding the daycare or nanny service you are considering by spending a little bit of time conducting some online research.

Visit or Interview

Although word-of-mouth is great, nothing compares to the first impression and gut instinct you can get by visiting a daycare or interviewing a potential nanny. Inquire about the caregiver to child ratio, evaluate the cleanliness of the location, and discuss your personal priorities.

Returning to the workforce should be an enjoyable and rewarding choice for mothers. By taking the time to ensure that your children are in a fun, safe environment during the day, you can free your mind from worry and focus on the beneficial aspects of your job.

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Jennifer Brown is a mama and an MD who enjoys finding fun in the chaos that comes with being a working mommy. Balancing the effort it takes to raise two adorable boys and juggle a thriving medical career, Jennifer also loves baking cookies, taking photos, reading fiction, and drinking coffee.

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