5 things to remember while searching for Childcare
November 17, 2014
You have just had a wonderful year at home with your baby, but the harsh light of reality is quickly coming into focus. It is time to go back to work. Or maybe, you are excited to get back to work and have adult conversations again (more than likely, its a mixture of dread and excitement)! Either way, entrusting the tender care and feeding of your precious child to another is a very hard voyage in this journey we call parenthood. Being armed with knowledge, and an understanding, about the ins and outs of finding childcare can go a long way to ease the anxiety.
1. Determine what kind of childcare will be best for YOUR child. Not every child is outgoing and gregarious and will thrive in the busy environment of a daycare. Perhaps your child would be happier in a cosy family dayhome, or even at home with a loving Nanny. You know your child and his or her needs better than anyone else. Use their little personality to help you decide what type of childcare will be best.
2. Stick to your guns – you know what kind of care you deem quality, keep that in mind as you search for childcare. If you have decided a dayhome is the best kind of care for you, stick with it. There are many options for dayhomes, be it in Calgary, Edmonton, or somewhere in between. Dayhome Registry has a really easy way to search for childcare in Alberta, and there are many Facebook Groups where dayhomes and parents alike engage to find the best fit for everyone.
3. Be prepared for it to take a while – You should know at least 3 months in advance if you are going back to work, what your hours will be, and what amount of care you are going to need (maybe Grandma wants to have your little one on Fridays). Finding quality care can take time, so be sure to start your search early. However, not TOO early, as many dayhomes don’t know more than 3 months in advance if they will have space. Daycares sometimes have wait lists that are longer than 1 year, so if you have your heart set on a specific daycare, call early!!
4. Be patient – this is a process, and a new one for you at that. Be patient with it. Childcare providers are busy people, and may take a few days to get back to you. If you don’t hear back within a week, call or email again. You may have to interview 3 or 4 childcare options before you settle on the one that works best for you and your family.
5. Remember, nothing has to be forever. – Awesome! You have found the childcare arrangement that works for you and your family. You are confident your little one will be healthy, happy and safe there. But, remember, times change, circumstances change. You may have another child, your dayhome provider may move, your office may open in-house childcare (DREAMY!). Go with the flow, and know that you can always change your mind if needed. In the meantime, enjoy the peace of mind that you can head back to work confident in your informed decision.
For more help finding childcare in Alberta, use the map search function at www.dayhomeregistry.com. You will also find a fabulous Childcare Search Checklist to help you as you move through this process.