Childcare choices for working parents
Most parents will agree that leaving their preschooler in the care of someone else is stressful!
However, nowadays for many couples, the decision is inevitable. The high cost of living, makes it hard to get by on just one income – unless it’s a very good one.
Mothers often feel guilty when rejoining the workforce, and worry about childcare arrangements and how their children will cope without them.
The good news is with a little planning and preparation, returning to work can be both a worthwhile and rewarding experience.
It helps if you spend time researching the available options – whether it be daycare, homebased care or even a nanny. There is no right or wrong choice, it simply comes down to what best suits your child and your family.
Interior designer and mother of two girls Katherine Vercoe sent both her children to daycare and it’s been a decision she hasn’t regretted.
She preferred the idea of having a whole building set up solely for the purpose of looking after children and both her daughters settled easily into their new environment.
‘‘I think that most kids thrive in having more kids and adults in their everyday environment. They learn more social skills, become more confident and also it sets them up for school where they will have to interact with numerous teachers and children, ‘‘ she says.
It pays to be aware that many daycares have waiting lists so if there’s one you particularly like, make sure you enrol your child early. Although you won’t want to think about it when you have a newborn, you’ll be glad you did further down the line.
For many other parents, homebased care is a popular choice, as it enables a close and trusting relationship to develop between the child and their caregiver, fostering strong emotional development and attachment.
There’s also the added advantage that home- based childcare generally provides more flexibility for parents as the hours and fees are negotiated with the family’s educator.
If you have more than one child a nanny is also an option that’s well worth looking into.
No matter what path you go down, it’s always a good idea to do your research.