This Article is About
negative behaviors
excellent care
family situation
strong opinions
family friend
quandary
babysitter
stay at home
first choice
own business
Struggling To Find Child Care
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Last evening, I was devastated to learn that our beloved babysitter would no longer be able to work for us. As any parent knows, it is so hard to find child care. Further, this is no ordinary babysitter - she is a family friend who adores our son. We trust her in our home and we know that she will take excellent care of him no matter what.

Unfortunately, she has to leave because of a family situation - which also means that we did not get much notice. In fact, we were given about 14 hours notice. As my husband and I both work - he at a 9 to 5 job and I at my own business, we find ourselves in quite a quandary. What do we do? Living in rural Western NC, we find ourselves with very limited options and are now having to consider daycare, an option that we really hoped to avoid. I can’t help but wonder - is he going to get lost in the shuffle? Will he make friends quickly or will he be lonely? Will he get any individual attention? 

Like many parents, we have strong opinions about childcare. Initially, it was our intent that one of us would be a stay-at-home parent and not worry about how to find child care. Of course, with this economy, that notion had to go out the window really fast. Our next option would be to find a full time nanny - which we thought we had covered. Although we will continue searching for a replacement, we have no legitimate options on the horizon and now have to consider finding a daycare that we can be comfortable with.

I, being the most suspicious of the two, have a ton of questions to ask when we visit our first choice on Monday. I really doubt I will be overwhelmed with happiness but I’m willing to give it a shot. In the end, how do I become OK with leaving the most precious being in my life with strangers? Will he pick up any negative behaviors from the other kids?  I do not have all the answers but I do have a plan to find child care:

  1. Ask questions. Are the staff all certified in CPR/First Aid? Accommodations of dietary restrictions? Separation of age groups?
  2. Observe. Most daycare centers will allow visits prior to enrollment. I plan to observe at times that I know it will be busy (drop off/pickup) so that I can see how chaos is managed as well as the real attitudes of the staff.
  3. Research. All daycare facilities are regulated so it is possible to see complaints or citations that your facility may have received. Also, ask to see their most recent scorecard or inspection report.
  4. Talk to other parents. Talk to the customers of the daycare. Most parents want the same things that you do and are willing to give candid feedback.

While we still have concerns about the route that we must choose now, I know that we can alleviate many of our fears simply by following the plan and doing our due diligence. Ultimately, in our quest to find child care, we want to know that he will be safe, happy and engaged.


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