Choosing the best child care is not easy, as we are leaving our babies in the care of others. There are many considerations: long daycare, preschool, creches, family daycare, nannies, grandparents and multiple care arrangements are all options. However they each have their pros and cons and obviously cost varies greatly.
So what do you need to look for when choosing a quality child care centre? Look at the centre’s policy, does the centre feel right? Are the staff empathetic? What is the staff to child ratio? Is it a stimulating environment? Are the kids happy?
Tracey Corbin-Matchett, mum of two and fulltime worker, has her mum as her main carer, which is great from her perspective, but it doesn’t come without some complications. For example, if her mother is sick she has to change everything and call on friends, change her work hours, call in sick and at times take her daughter in to the office.
A shortage of childcare in some areas means that you have to start the process of looking for childcare long before you need it. Especially the 0-2 age group who require a higher ratio of carers to children so it is not as cost effective for operators.
*Cathrine *suggests that we should all be working towards having strong support networks, which includes friends, neighbours, family and parents. In fact they are essential to any working parent.
The cost of childcare is prohibitive for many women returning to the workforce and they need to earn a lot to justify the cost of childcare. Sally Burleigh suggests that if you have two children requiring care, the cost of long day care is comparable with the cost of a nanny. Of course both have advantages and disadvantages.