Category Archives: 1-Needs

Is Your Daycare’s Car Designed for Car Seats?

Baby at Daycare in Car SeatA new article by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was recently published going into detail about the safety of 2011 vehicles in regards to the LATCH system for child car seat restraints. The results were surprising, and a little disappointing. Even though the standards for child restraint safety have been in place for some time it is amazing the amount of modern day vehicles that do not seem to have child safety and car seat installation in mind.

As parents we try our best to keep our children’s safety at the forefront. However, the difficulty of many car seats to install along with many car models which are not set up correctly for the LATCH system. This has turned out to make it surprising difficult to make sure child car seat installation is correct. This has made for a potentially dangerous and even life threatening situation for our children.

Only 21 of the 98 top-selling 2010-11 model passenger vehicles evaluated have LATCH designs that are easy to use.

I know it might seem strange to question your daycare provider regarding your child’s safety. However it is absolutely essential that you do. It’s not a matter of doubt in your daycare provider ability, it’s about assuring your child is safe in any vehicle. If a daycare or childcare provider baulks at your insistence as a parent to inspect their car seat, make sure they know you trust them but you want to be absolutely sure that your child’s car seat is installed right. There is nothing wrong with being an over protective parent. It can save lives!

Unfortunately it is hard to say exactly how to install a car seat because there are so many different designs. Along with all of the different designs each model of car is a little bit different. This is the crux of the problem. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when installing a childs car seat.

Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air Baby Car Seat
Safety 1st onBoard Air Baby Car Seat
  • Make sure the car seat is built and designed for the correct age, weight and height of your child.
  • Car seats should always be in the back seat of a vehicle. They should also be in the middle of the seat if there is a proper LATCH system. This maximizes their safety from both frontal and side impacts.
  • Tether’s should always be used for forward facing car seats.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the car seat.
  • If you are unclear on how to install your child’s car seat in your car find a certified car seat inspection center near you.

For a  complete run down check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations website.

The bottom line is that our children may not be as safe as we are led to believe. As a responsible parent it is your duty to make sure not only your vehicles have their car seats installed properly, but also that your daycare provider has their car seats installed properly for your child.

Here are some of the most popular vehicles they tested and reported on.

2011 Models that Meet All 3 Easy-Installation Criteria

  • Audi A4 Quattro
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Chevrolet Equinox LT
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab
  • Chevrolet Suburban LT
  • Chevrolet Tahoe LS
  • Chrysler Town & Country (2010)
  • Dodge Caliber Mainstreet
  • Dodge Grand Caravan Crew
  • Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab
  • Ford Escape XLT
  • Ford F-150 SuperCrew Cab
  • GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab SLE
  • Honda Pilot EX-L
  • Kia Sedona LX
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz C300
  • Mercedes-Benz E350
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe GS
  • Mitsubishi Lancer ES
  • Toyota Tacoma extended cab
  • Buick Enclave CX
  • Chevrolet Impala LT
  • Dodge Avenger Express
  • Ford Flex SEL
  • Ford Taurus Limited
  • Hyundai Sonata Limited
  • Toyota Sienna XLE

2011 Models That Don’t Meet Any Easy-Installation Criteria

  • Buick Enclave CX
  • Chevrolet Impala LT
  • Dodge Avenger Express
  • Ford Flex SEL
  • Ford Taurus Limited
  • Hyundai Sonata Limited
  • Toyota Sienna XLE

For the entire article on child car seat safety and more information visit:


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Cyber Monday Deal on Baby Signing Time

daycare-babyOne of the most frustrating things to both parents and their children is not being able to communicate properly. It takes children years to learn how to talk. As a parent you don’t have to wait years to learn to communicate with your child. How do you talk to those that can’t? Through sign language of course!

Sign language is something that your baby, even an infant can learn to use. It is comprised of basic motions and movements which are much easier for your baby to learn then a speaking language. Using sign language to communicate with your baby is a great way to ease much of the frustrations that come with early parenting and your child’s early years. Parents are able to ask infants basic questions aabout what they need and why they are sad. Infants are able to tell you want they want and when they need it.

Teaching children sign language before they can speak can have a profound impact on the rest of their life.   By enabling early communication, building vocabulary and building a strong relationship with your child during the first three years, you are helping your child to develop the foundation for language and learning that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Teaching sign language helps you to do this.   There is a growing body of research that suggests that signing has many benefits, including:

  • Strengthens parent/child bonds
  • Enables early language, vocabulary & expression
  • Reduces frustration and tantrums
  • Helps parents to be more observant and responsive
  • Promotes positive emotional development
  • Builds confidence and self esteem

Sign language is something that can and should be transferred over to your daycare provider. In fact many daycare providers already know and use sign language. If the teaching and use of sign language is used at home and at daycare you will see dramatic a dramatic increase of your baby using it.

Baby Signing Time has some great holiday deals going right now and there isn’t a better time to get started. This would make an amazing gift for any parent, grandparent and daycare provider.

Holiday Special!! For A Limited Time Only, Save 35%
Holiday Special!! For A Limited Time Only, Save 35%

I have used sign language with my children and it has helped dramatically in trying to calm upset infants. It works great to know if they are hungry, thirsty, or tired. It really is amazing how well it works. I know it has surprised many parents, it did me, that their tiny little infant has much more to say about the world around them then you ever knew. Sign language helps them to say these things. When parents use this at home and their daycare providers use sign language it can really help make the first few years before they learn to speak much better. It gives them a head start on learning, and gives parents, daycare providers and anyone else taking care of your children more tools to insure they are taken care of well.


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Daycare Costs – Is Working Worth It?

kid_blocksDaycare is a hard parenting decision. It can be difficult to decide if you want to send your children to daycare or if you should stay home with them. It’s worth it to look into the real cost of working. It might sound strange, but working costs money, and it costs more money when both parents work. The cost of working can outweigh the benefit of staying home with your child through those few short, formative years.

There are a great many arguments to be had debating both sides of the issue on whether or not you should stay home with your child. We have addressed some of those here at Decide on Daycare and will address many more of them in the future. However, this article is strictly designed to help you as a parent look at the monetary side of whether or not to send your child to daycare.

The spreadsheet link below will help you accurately assess your current financial situation and the financial burden or benefit involved in staying home with your children. The spreadsheets fields will automatically calculate for you to make this assessment easier.

Daycare Cost Calculator

This is a excel spread sheet but should be compatible with many different programs. It is presented this way so you can easily save it and change it at home or make minor tweaks to your own copy as you find the answers to the questions.

You will need to gather some financial information for the worksheet. You’ll need to know how much you spend on:

  • Daycare itself? (The total cost of enrollment, fees and misc. charges)
  • Daycare extras? (Extra car seat, clothes, medicine, diapers, wipes)
  • Gas for your vehicles? (To and from work, and daycare)
  • Other travel expenses? (Tolls, subway, train, parking)
  • Vehicle maintenance? (Oil changes, repairs, tires, maintenance)
  • Food for work? (Coffee, meals, vending machines)
  • Work supplies and equipment? (Laptop bag, cell phone, tools)
  • Work clothes? (Suits, business clothes, shoes, handbags, other accessories)
  • Your appearance? (Makeup, manicures/pedicures, salon treatments)
  • Other things at daycare? (Birthday parties, field trips, crafts, gifts)
  • Weekly Take Home Earnings? (After taxes and other deductions)

There are several lines below these that are highlighted in orange on the spreadsheet below the other questions. These are for you to add your own special expenses or anything else that goes into the cost of you sending your children to daycare or associated with you working.

After filling out this spreadsheet, you may be surprised by what you find. However, leaving the workforce for a few years has its own lifetime cost that is much harder to factor in, as is each parent’s own individual career circumstances.

You’ll need to determine what those numbers mean to you, and how they fit into your own particular circumstances. Having a number to work with, to really know what it costs for a parent to work and send their children to daycare, may help with those difficult decisions.

Yearly Cost Calculator

Stay-at-Home-Parent's Survival Guide
Real-Life Advice from Moms, Dads, and Other Experts A to Z

I have also included on the spreadsheet a yearly cost calculator. This is a great tool to use to convert either monthly or yearly expenses down into weekly costs so they can be calculated properly. This is important because there are many things that may go unaccounted for since you really do not pay for them on a weekly basis but they affect your budget through the course of the year. For example, your miscellaneous car expenses don’t occur each week. You may spend $500 a year in the winter for new tires, or $1000 a year for a tune up before vacation. However, these costs do not get factored in. When you look at how little you will drive compared to taking your child to daycare and driving to work every day you will see that these car expenses may go down dramatically. If you drive 100 miles a week instead of a day the wear and tear on your car is much less and you will not need these kinds of repairs annually. This kind of expense is what gets overlooked when figuring out the true costs of daycare.

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Can You Be Your Own Daycare

daycare_chalkboardThere is so much thought and effort that goes into figuring out all the particulars of daycare that I think many parents skip right over the simplest question of all, “Is daycare right for our family?” Decide on Daycare will help you evaluate if daycare is right for you. It may be surprising how much of your income goes into paying for daycare while you are at work. More importantly, you may be missing the most crucial time in your child’s life.

Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and examine the situation from a whole new perspective.

The Social Cost of Daycare

Other People Raising Your Children

Daddy, Do My Socks Match?
Daddy, Do My Socks Match?

One major factor to consider is that your daycare provider will become a very influential and powerful force in your child’s life. This can be both good and bad but the fact of the matter is that this daycare provider will be a huge influence on your child’s life, and will aid in the raising of your child. Your child will spend 1/2 to 3/4 or more of their waking hours with this daycare provider. This means they will be learning, growing and developing under this daycare provider’s guidance. Do you have the confidence that the daycare provider will do a good job in this very important role? Do you think that as a parent, you have the confidence and knowledge to provide the proper care for your child in this fashion? These might be tougher questions to ask and even tougher to answer. However, no question should be off limits when your child’s well being is at stake.

Your Child’s Formative Years

Most child psychologists agree that the first few years of our lives is the most important to forge who we are and our attitudes, ideas and morals throughout adulthood. This can be so important and it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure these years are done right. Whether you choose daycare or not you must be sure that whatever your choice is, you are secure in the fact that whoever it is that takes care of your children do so in some sort of accordance with your own wishes. This is something that all parents must take on a bit of faith should they have daycare for their children. It is something that parents that take care of their children don’t have to worry about.

Forging Bonds That Last a Lifetime

Parent Handbook on Getting Children Ready for Learning
Parent Handbook on Getting Children Ready for Learning

The first few years of your child’s life will set them on their path throughout their life. These few years are also when they will cement their bonds with those around them. Many mothers and fathers choose to stay home during the early years of the children’s lives to make sure their focus is on their children. Time does go by quickly, and in only a few short years your baby will be attending school all day. Most parents have about a six-year window with their children and choose to focus on that, while putting a career on hold.

The Cost of Daycare to your Sanity

Can you be a stay at home parent?

If you’ve thought through the financials of this question it is now time to consider if staying at home with your children truly interests you. It is now time to ask one of the hardest questions that I think parents have a hard time answering honestly, “Can I be a stay at home parent?”

This can be a very tricky one to answer but you must look at it from every angle before you make the decision.

  • Can you be around your children 24/7 or do you need and enjoy a break?
  • Are you a parent that can have little adult interaction?
  • Do you have the ambition to stay at home with them?
  • Do you have the knowledge or can you educate yourself on all of the up to date parenting techniques and philosophies?
  • Can you become not only your child’s parent but their teacher too?
  • Will you be willing to have play dates with other parents and children?
  • Are you willing to put your career on hold until they are in school full time?
  • Can you put your career on hold?
  • Will your family have health insurance if you are not working for a company that provides it?
  • Will you resent your children if your choice to stay at home with them ends up impacting your chances if you decide to work outside the home again?

Being a stay at home parent is not easy, but it is rewarding.

School Starts at Home
School Starts at Home

These are just a few of the questions a parent needs to answer before the decision to stay at home can be made. It will be a huge change, but it can be a good one. There is something satisfying about having a career and leaving your children with qualified daycare providers to take care of them and prepare them for school.

However, there is also the option of being a stay at home parent. There is something special about being the one to see them through all of their early life’s milestones. There is a pride that comes with teaching your own child to read, to write, and to count. There is a bond that is formed with your children when you are their parent and their teacher. And there is also the peace that comes with knowing they are with the person you trust the most. Yourself.

It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly but one alternative to daycare that many parents find rewarding not only when they do stay at home but are rewarded throughout their lives. You will probably work harder, longer hours as a stay at home parent. You will not get breaks or raises. You will not get any vacations. You will, however get a chance to bond with your children in a way few parents do.

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Is Daycare Right For You?

girl_in_grass_2There is so much thought and effort that goes into figuring out all the particulars of daycare that I think many parents skip right over the simplest question of all, “Is daycare right for our family?” Decide on Daycare will help you evaluate if daycare is right for you.

It might seem like a no-brainer but the fact of the matter is, with the cost of daycare, the decline in wages, and the expansion of urban sprawl it may very well be that you are only working to pay for daycare. Some new stay-at-home parents have found themselves looking at this option in a new light after finding themselves unexpectedly unemployed in a bad job market.

Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and examine the situation from a whole new perspective.

Financial Cost of Daycare

The Cost of Daycare Itself

You may be spending more on daycare than you think you are. If you’re spending $250 a week for an infant and $200 a week on a toddler, that’s 450 a week. If you calculate your monthly bill, that’s $1,800 a month, which means you’re paying $21,600 a year! So if you or your partner makes less than $22,000 a year, you are losing money by taking your child to daycare.

The Expense of Going to Work

Don’t overlook the cost of actually going to work and what it costs to have a career. You need to consider what it costs in gas and tolls, wear and tear on your car, clothes, shoes, salon costs, and other miscellaneous purchases. You need to also look at your food expenses. Do you buy coffee every morning? Do you go out to eat with co-workers? These can quickly add up to thousands of dollars more you spend a year just to have a job.

The Hidden or Secondary Expenses of Working

Stay-at-Home-Parent's Survival Guide
Stay-at-Home-Parent's Survival Guide

These can vary widely depending on your career. You may incur extra babysitting costs when you have to work late. You have limited time off from your job, so you may end up taking vacations during peak times where airfare, hotels and entertainment prices are at their highest. There can be many more examples of this type of secondary expense but it is important for you to consider these when thinking of the financial effect of daycare.

Take all of these into consideration and you can easily go through the equivalent of an annual salary of $30,000 to $40,000 a year. If you factor in long commutes, premiere preschool academies and a large amount of work expenses, and the cost can go to $50,000 a year or more. Take it all into consideration when calculating the total amount that working actually will cost you. It’s likely that you may be working just to pay for daycare.

This is just the financial aspect of looking at whether or not you should be a stay at home parent. In the next article Decide on Daycare will go into the social aspects and the more difficult questions to ask yourself.

In the meantime visit the Determining Your Needs for Daycare for a more in-depth look at the different daycare types and great parenting advice on what would be best for you.

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Day Care Kids Get More Infections Now, but Fewer Later

daycare_toy_trainThis article is credited to:
By Maureen Salamon, MyHealthNewsDaily Contributor
posted: 07 December 2010 11:39 am ET

We found this article very interesting and thought that we would share it with you.


Young children who attend large day care facilities suffer more respiratory and ear infections as toddlers than kids who spend their days at home, but develop fewer such illnesses during their grade-school years, a new study suggests.

“Overall, all the children got sick the same amount, so there are no differences between the groups — just the timing is different,” said study researcher Sylvana M. Cote, a psychologist at the University of Montreal in Quebec.

However, “one can argue that there is an advantage of not missing school days, when they’re missing major education that’s really the basis of their academic trajectory, Cote told MyHealthNewsDaily.

Cote studied data over eight years, tracking how often children suffered respiratory, ear or gastrointestinal infections during their early preschool (up to age 2½), late preschool (3½ to 4½) and early elementary school (ages 5 to 8) years.

Among the 1,238 families in the study, kids who began attending day care facilities in large settings before age 2½ had higher rates of respiratory and ear infections compared with children who were cared for at home until grade school. Cote defined large day care settings as facilities with at least 100 children.

The apparent trade-off, Cote said, was that these children developed fewer infections after age 5.

The results follow the logic that the more germs children are exposed to, the more likely they are to get sick, said Dr. Henry Bernstein, chief of general pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, who was not involved with the study.

“There’s no question when there’s an environment where kids are in close contact — and young kids may not be washing their hands as much as adults — the spread of germs happens more readily,” said Bernstein, who is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases.

Cote also found that children who enrolled in small-group child care facilities in early preschool, as opposed to facilities that had larger groups of children, didn’t have any more infections than kids who stayed at home. She added that few previous studies examined the impact of group child care on infection rates beyond the preschool years.

Kids who were initially cared for at home and later enrolled at any child care facility had more ear infections between ages 3 ½ and 4 ½, but no other differences in infection risk, according to the researchers.

The researchers did not find a link between gastrointestinal illnesses and group child care at any age.

“Young children do get more gastrointestinal infections, but it doesn’t matter later,” Cote said. “We do have a protective effect for intestinal infections when we get to grade school.”

Bernstein said gastrointestinal illnesses may not be spread as readily as respiratory or ear infections at day care facilities because parents may be more likely to quickly intervene when symptoms — such as vomiting or loose stools — appear. But runny noses or coughs may not attract parents’ attention as readily, he said, keeping sick children in day care and increasing their chances of exposing others.

Other studies have shown that repeated, mild respiratory infections at young ages — which stimulate the immune system — can prevent asthma from developing, Cote said.

“I hope people will not worry so much about sending their children to day care in relation to infections. Really, what we are seeing is a natural part of life when we get to large groups,” Cote said. “In the long run, it shows day care does not have an impact in the long-term burden of disease. I think it is (an advantage) in terms of the academic aspect.”

The study is published in the December issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Pass it on: Kids who attend day care facilities when they are very young may get sick less once they reach elementary-school age than those cared for at home.

This article was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience.

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Daycare Features at a Glance

daycare_kid_mousingMaking the decision between a day care center, at-home daycare, and a nanny is difficult work. This chart shows some of the main features of different types of childcare. If you would like further information regarding specific items, please check the articles under Types of Daycare.

Child care Features

Daycare Center

In-Home Daycare


Government regulations Yes Yes No
One-on-one attention No No Yes
Chance to interact with children of own age Yes Yes No
Multiple teachers Yes No No
Frequency of infectious illness Yes Yes No
Caregiver turnover Yes No Yes
Individual focus on special needs (food allergy, etc.) No No Yes
Flexibility in the child’s routine No No Yes
Extended hours of operation Yes No No
Backup care if a provider can’t work (vacation, illness, etc.) Yes No No
Personal relationship between parent and provider No Yes Yes
Possibility of preschool curriculum Yes Yes Yes
Budget-minded Yes Yes No
Supervision of provider Yes No No
Family privacy Yes Yes No
Socializing with other children Yes Yes No
Convenience No No Yes
Home-like environment No Yes Yes
Control over rules and values No No Yes
Employee taxes and benefits, living arrangements, etc. No No Yes
Chance to meet other parents Yes Yes No
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Needs That Match an In-Home Daycare

daycare_girl_reading_floorWhen considering daycare for your child, it’s important to keep in mind what you want in daycare.  You may find that in-home daycare is the best solution to meet your needs.  These daycares range widely in the type of care they offer.  Some are little more than a playroom in the basement or the kids are cooped up all day.  Others are highly structured with daily itineraries that plot out what your child will be doing.  Some include religious curriculum, and some often take the kids out during the day on various trips.  It’s good to have a clear understanding of what you need in the daycare and remember your priorities when seeking one out.

In-home daycare is often less expensive than a daycare center or a nanny.  This is often a driving factor in parents choosing in-home daycare.  However, being less expensive doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the quality of child care.  Keep this in mind when you are searching for a daycare because the quality care of the care is very important.

Quality in-home daycares rarely have openings when you need them!  Therefore, it’s very important to get a good lead on enrolling your child in the in-home daycare of your choice.  Looking for a daycare really should be considered six months or more out from the time you’d like to enroll your child. If this isn’t possible, you should still be able to find someone, but you will definitely need to contact a lot of people.

In-home daycare providers offer personalized care for children that they wouldn’t get in a daycare center.  Most in-home daycares will have six or maybe eight children total.  The ratio for this is almost always better than the child to teacher ratio you’ll find at a daycare center.  Much stronger bonds between the daycare provider and your child will form. Many childcare professionals see this is a valuable and a source of happy and healthy child development.  This is a very important time in your child’s life and being able to forge strong bonds with those around them can help them considerably in the future.  This often helps children feel much more comfortable in this type of daycare.

Choosing Childcare For Dummies
Choosing Childcare For Dummies

In-home daycares often offer a kind of customizable care.  Having such a small group of children to look after, they can easily make arrangements to suit your needs.  They’re definitely an excellent choice for children with special needs.  Be sure to discuss any special needs and the combinations required with the daycare provider.  With the marked increase in child allergies in recent years, in-home daycare providers may offer a certain peace of mind.  This is because the provider is able to modify her menu, in-home snacks and be acutely aware of your child’s  allergies, which allows them to screen any snacks that might come in and to make other parents of the daycare aware of this.

Being less expensive than other forms of daycare, in-home daycare providers are the preferred choice for many parents.  Not only are they less expensive, they offer a type of customizable care that allows the parents and the children to feel more comfortable.  They offer custom care and often quality preschool so important in child development. The best ones are incredibly difficult to get into, but being a proactive, educated and well-meaning parent you too will be able to get your child into the care of your choice.

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Assessing Needs For Daycare Center

daycare-kids-in-playgroundThere’s a wide range of things that you need to consider when thinking about taking your child to a daycare center.  Not only should you consider the needs of your child but you should also consider your own needs.  Make sure to keep in mind your budget, your work schedule and the kind of experience that you’re hoping to give your child.  Remember this is always a partnership between you, your child and your daycare provider.

One advantage that draws many people to a daycare center is their availability.  Most daycare centers are open Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, year round.  Some even have longer hours during the week. They also can offer things like a once a month “Parents’ Night Out”, when they keep the children longer into the evening, giving them dinner and a movie.   A Something you may not even consider when comparing daycare types is that centers are usually only closed during the major holidays. In-home daycare providers or nannies will generally be closed or unavailable around major holidays, but also will have vacations during the year, sick days, appointments, and other scheduling conflicts, when you will need to find backup care for your child.

Daycare centers offer the closest facsimile of school which will make that eventual transition much easier for child.  Daycare centers also offer a myriad of other services.  So if you are looking for more than just daycare for child a center may be the choice that you want.  They often have sports activities, field trips and optional classes.

Choosing Childcare
Choosing Childcare

Daycare preschool centers are often more structured than in-home daycares.  If your child, like many, thrives on a very structured day, a daycare center could be the right choice.  They generally have a day to day routine that remains similar.  They will also have a daily routine that remains consistent.  Oftentimes reading time, craft time, lunchtime and nap time are usually started and completed at around the same time every day.  When your child has a structured routine this helps them feel more confident during their day and comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings with unfamiliar people.

If this sounds like what you’re for in a childcare provider, is likely that a daycare center would be right for you.  Daycare centers may seem the same but they often vary greatly on the specifics of what they offer or what their focus may be.  Some are religion-based, some academic-based, and some are activity-based. Make sure that you ask them the details of their day and what they focus on with the children.  If the focus of the center aligns with your primary goals for your child in daycare, you may have found the right place.

You’ll want to prioritize what you find most important in the daycare center.  Then when you are calling, and then later interviewing these daycare centers, you can compare them with your priorities.  This should give you the knowledge and information that you need to make best informed choice for you and your child.

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Would a Nanny Be Best for My Family?

nanny_lakeOne option in your search for childcare is hiring a nanny. This option involves the most work—you not only have to find a caregiver for your child, but you are also hiring an employee and opening your home and family to this person.

When considering whether to hire a nanny, you need to determine if this form of childcare is best suited to your family’s needs.  Nannies are generally more expensive than in-home daycares or daycare centers, and nannies have a high turnover rate. But if you need childcare at odd hours, a nanny might be your only option. Parents who have children with special needs may find nannies are the most reasonable option. Parents who work at home may hire a nanny for a portion of the day while they work. A friend of mine had twins and was recovering from complications from the birth. She hired a night nanny two nights a week and said it was a lifesaver, because in those early days she was grateful for a little bit of sleep.  Even if your situation is more “traditional”, you may simply prefer not to take your child to a daycare.  The nanny decision is a tough one, since a nanny is a much more integral part of your life and your household than a daycare.  There are definitely more legal issues involved with hiring an employee to come to your home. You pay her paycheck, pay the payroll taxes, and decide on her benefits.

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