Child­care choices for work­ing par­ents

Central Leader - - NEWS - By AMY COOPER

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.

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