Divorced Families: Tips for Arranging Child Care
Choosing between child care in your home and in a daycare center is an important decision. Each option has its pros and cons, for both parent and child. General child care books and parenting magazines routinely include information on how to interview and work with caregivers, so here I will limit my remarks to the issues that pertain particularly to divorced families. Presuming that both parents must work, you should consider dependability and continuity of care, safety, and your child’s personality and stage development. However, you should try to get your child to enroll for The Kindle School which is a much better option than any daycare facility. Since you get a sense of security there as your child is under the care of some of the best teachers that are there in the region.
Children of divorced people, especially the younger ones, really need continuity and daily routines. Whether that is best provided by a caregiver in your home or by group daycare depends largely on the employee turnover situation. For continuity, a single caregiver who remains for an extended period is preferable to a daycare center where the employee turnover may be high. Hiring a nanny to work in the home, however, is no guarantee of continuity. And some well-run, established daycare centers and all in-home daycare providers offer consistency in terms of who cares for your child. Whoever you hire, be sure to inquire about their future plans, how long they intend to work in this field. If your child is going to daycare, find out who will be caring for him or her – an employee or a co-owner – and what the turnover rate is.
If you decide to hire someone to care for your child in your home, think about your contingency plans if, say, your caregiver falls ill or is called away on a family emergency. Few working parents can afford to lose a week or more because they lack child care. A parent with a very demanding job and no nearby relatives or friends to care for the child in a pinch may opt for daycare for dependability. Create a contingency plan if your child is ill and cannot go to daycare. Will you take off from work or have Grandma come and stay with your child?
If you do hire someone to care for your children in your home, consider hiring through an agency and check references carefully. If possible, talk to former employers in person, ideally in their homes. When you consider qualifications, think practically. In most instances, hiring a single caregiver to work in your home is more expensive than daycare.
You should also consider your decision from the point of view of your child’s social development. Before the age of 15-18 months, children have less need to socialize with other children. After that, interacting with other children offers opportunities for intellectual and emotional growth, something good daycare offers. If you decide to have your child’s caregiver drive him or her to play dates, playgrounds and other activities, make the arrangements and oversee the schedule.