With my return to work fast approaching, my quest in choosing daycare for baby girl is top priority. Choosing a childcare provider is one of the hardest and most thought through decisions parents make. No one would argue that the ideal candidate for proving childcare are the parents, but in today’s world, it is more common that both parents return to work after their child is born.
I consider myself very fortunate that here in Canada I’m allowed to have a full 52 weeks off after my child is born for maternity leave. Spending the first year home with her has made my choice to breastfeed possible and dealing with her sleep issues a little easier. Having it come to a close is sad. (For reference, women in the United States get 6 weeks of paid family leave and 12 weeks of unpaid family medical leave to care for a child).
Choosing Daycare Options
My husband and I sat down to discuss what type of daycare we wanted our little one to attend. Did we want a registered, licensed center with many children and providers (or employees) or did we want to find a place within someone’s home? There are pluses and minuses for both but ultimately we decided we would focus our efforts on finding a home-based care.
The Benefits and Risks when Choosing Daycare
Both my sister and I were raised going to someone else’s home for daycare and loved it. The benefit is that my husband and I have the choice of finding a place very close to our own home, few children, more one-on-one care, and in my mind, a more natural transition from being at home all day with mom to daycare.
The downside of looking for a home based daycare is that we as parents have to be that much more careful. Though many do, a home based daycare isn’t required to abide by the same regulations as a traditional licensed center. Choosing to look for a daycare based out of someones home means we’re required to double and triple check everything. Do they have a criminal background check? Do they know child CPR? How are their references? These are just some of the many questions we’re making sure we have answered. Questions that should almost go without asking if we were looking at a licensed center.
Even with all this extra homework we decided to continue our pursuit to finding the perfect home-based daycare. If we came up empty handed we would re-direct our efforts to something else.
Jackpot! Finding the Perfect Daycare
One of the downsides of a home based daycare is that they usually don’t have much of anything in terms or advertising. They rely a lot on word of mouth or mutual contacts. I did manage to find a few who were advertising open spaces via our online classifieds, but nothing that would work for our family. Most of them were located too far from our home.
I decided to place an ad, listing what I was looking for and managed to find what we think will be a perfect place.
The home is located two streets from our house, no more than a five-minute walk. She is a former elementary school teacher, her husband a current vice principal. She decided to stay home after her youngest was born and take a few kids in to watch while at home. She has full criminal and child abuse registry checks done, up-to-date CPR and for us Canadians, offers income tax receipts. She takes a max of four children at once. Our little one will be number four, she’s had the other three for a few years now (another good sign). We’re excited that she comes from another culture and may be able to introduce experiences, food and traditions to our kiddo we otherwise wouldn’t.
Finding a place that my husband and I were comfortable with is going to make my return to work that much easier. Though it hasn’t happened yet I have solace in knowing she’ll be close to home with a trusted individual learning new things and interacting with other children. I’ll be sure to report how it actually goes after her first few days!
How did you chose the daycare for your children? Any tips for making my back to work transition easier?