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You thought to find the right partner was the hardest decision you had to make until you started a family together. With many women wanting or needing to continue with their careers after having a child they face multiple decisions that are not easy, to say the least.

First, of course, is the decision to leave your child in the care of someone else. It sounds so easy to just say “I will be back to work in three months” until you actually have to experience the feeling of letting go. You carried your child for nine months with all the body changes that went with it, gave birth to what felt like an elephant and stayed up night after night feeding and changing your new pride and joy. Now, of course, you are ready to let go or maybe not! After you look into her eyes for the first time, watch her fall asleep in your protective arms or feel her heart beating as she rests on your chest, you realize it was all worth it. So how are you going to let someone else take care of her now? It is not easy but many times it is the beginning of letting your child grow. Once you reach the decision to continue your career path the next question is how to choose the right childcare.

What kind of care is best? Of course, while nothing is as good as doing it yourself, there are still many good alternatives that can make life less stressful.

Look to family or close friends that are having children. If you have a sister that is planning on being a stay-at-home mom she may be willing to take care of your newborn too. Sometimes it is not that much harder to handle two instead of one. In exchange, you may help her financially, by taking both kids on the weekends or some other combination that works for everyone. There are several credible service providers that you can check out for that, you get trained and experienced caretakers. If you are a resident of New Houston, We provide child care in Northwest Houston. This will help you in making your process more comfortable and efficient. 

Many families look to the grandmother to help but are careful with this option. Depending on the grandparent’s age and activity level some studies have determined that grandparents watching children full time have increased their risk of illness and potentially shortens their life expectancy.    

Daycare centers are another good alternative but the research needed to find a good one can be daunting. While small in-home daycare centers sound so cozy, they may not have the proper licensing, expertise or financing to handle the children that have been placed in their care. Many home-based centers are usually run by a mom who is just trying to make ends meet by watching other children as well. Most of the time they work out great, but if there is an emergency, whose children will they help first? As we all know, being a mom is a good start, but it is not the same as a person trained or experienced in handling multiple children. There are many safety concerns that need to be addressed that go far beyond installing a few childproof locks. Are the people running the center CPR and First Aid certified? Do they have proper insurance? In a one adult situation, who handles the children when the adult is sick? Don’t get me wrong, small personalized centers can be a great alternative, but you need to do your homework to feel safe.    

The other type of Daycare centers is run by corporations which while they sound so cold, when run properly are very efficient and a good place for kids to learn social skills. Once again you need to diligently check current licensing, child to caregiver ratios, check with other moms with enrolled children and finally pay a surprise visit to the center to see how they interact with the kids. Centers that are part of large chains can have some advantages in that many have stricter standards than local and state agencies that oversee them and they usually have their own inspectors. It is also important to remember that while a chain may have a good reputation each center is run by individual managers. This just means that you need to check the place out the same as you would in a small center. A very important thing to remember when choosing either a large or small center is when multiple children have kept together with their chances of getting sick more frequently also is an issue. Check to find out how each center handles children that are sick and make sure you are comfortable with it.    Lastly, there is in-home childcare using professional Nannies and Babysitters that can be a good alternative when you can’t be there. Having a professional experienced Nanny is the next best thing to staying with the child yourself. Unlike relatives or friends, Nannies will follow your set of rules for how you want your child cared for. There is also a comfort level that the children have when they are cared for in their own home and of course there are fewer chances for catching every cold that is passed around the daycare center. One drawback is the reduced opportunity for social interaction which can be resolved by having the Nanny set up play dates with friends or neighbors. The other drawback is the cost of private care versus daycare, but this too can be a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to drop off and pick your child every day. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about taking off every time your child gets sick and the center wants to send them home. As I noted earlier, the above choices all have some merit and some drawbacks which is what makes the decisions that much harder. Then again, who said that being a Mom and Dad was going to be easy?

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