GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - When it's time to head back to work you want to make sure you've secured the perfect person or place to watch your little munchkin. Most moms struggle with choosing between a home daycare, a nanny service, a daycare center or even a family member provider. Here's some extra info to help you make an informed decision.
Best Bang for your buck- Family Member Provider
Many moms are thrilled when a family member steps up and offers to watch their child as the official daycare provider. Maybe its grandma or your sister or aunt. This often tends to be the most economical solution. Usually grandma is free and your other family members are trying to help you save so they probably expect to be paid a very small reasonable amount of money per week.
Things to think about: With this choice there are a few things that you'll want to consider. For example it's often harder to express your concerns with how a family member is caring for your child. Maybe grandma isn't following your rules and, because she's free you feel you can't complain. In this situation your child also may not get the chance to interact with other children as often. Finally when grandma has watched baby all week it may be harder to convince her to take your little bundle of joy for that weekend date night you had planned.
Home away from home- In-home Licensed Daycare Provider
This is a good option for a mom who appreciates the setting of having her child be at a home away from home. This option gives piece of mind because the provider is licenses and trained. Usually they care for a limited number of families and make you and your child feel like part of theirs. Plus your child gets the chance to grow, learn and interact with a few friends while still getting the one-on-one care he or she needs.
Things to think about: Finding a licensed daycare with an available spot for an infant is tough and in high demand, especially when looking in your own neighborhood. You can check online, get referrals from friends, neighbors, co-workers and your church. Another issue is that home daycare providers have lives and families of their own. Sometimes someone gets sick, or their is an emergency leaving you to find alternate care for a day or two. Be sure to check references and their background to make sure they have met all standards.
Structured fun and lots of friends- Licensed Daycare Center
A daycare center is an option many parents go with because it's easy to find one in your area. Large centers provide lots of structure, activities and reliability for parents. Your child will learn early on how to interact with other children and be presented with many fun learning opportunities. You can also rest your mind that the people caring for your child are well trained, certified and there is an abundance of workers to care for your little one. It's also much easier to find a daycare center with an opening because their capacity is much higher than an in-home provider.
Things to think about: Daycare centers have more rules to keep all children safe, healthy and happy. Sometimes parents find that those rules aren't as flexible as they'd like. When your child is sick (as with most options) they must stay home. Usually (depends on your center) you pay when your child isn't there. ie. holidays, vacations ect. Some perceptions are that at a center your child is one of many and doesn't get as much one-on-one time as some parents may request.
Convenience, Convenience, Convenience!- In-Home Nanny Service
This is most moms dream. A consistent, caring person who comes to your home to care for your child while you're away. Here in West Michigan there are actual nanny services who help screen and place a nanny with your family who is a perfect fit for your needs. The great thing with that is you pay the service and they employ the nanny making it much easier for you. Plus, if your nanny is sick or on vacation they will get her shift covered and you can still go ahead on your day.
Things to think about: Price! That's the biggest issue most moms run in to with this option. Usually convenience comes at a price. A well trained nanny from a service who comes to you, comes with a price tag that is out of reach for some families. The upside is if you work a job with crazy hours this may be the only option you have to keep your child in a stable environment while you're away.
Remember, there is no right or wrong choice. It's all about you, your child and your family. Find what works best and go for it!
Fifth Third Bank is going into the classroom to help students learn about money and finances.
Taking steps to protect student athletes from suffering concussions.
Decorating for the holidays can be stressful. Eliminate the stress by following some easy tips from our home decor expert Tiffany Talsma!