It’s one of the most excruciating moments many of you will face as a new mother…the day you drop your too-tiny-to-be-away-from-you-for-a-whole-day baby off at daycare, and you return to work. I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s hard. But it can be made marginally easier if you feel really comfortable with the childcare you have chosen.
But how do you choose it? Good question.
Sandy Renick, a Certified Family Life Educator and the Program Project Manager of the Campus Children’s Initiative at the University of North Texas, has a lot of excellent advice. This interview is a little long, but this is an important decision and there’s a lot to consider. Oh, and please forgive the PBS kids in the background lol. I do this blog from home, where I keep a three year old!
Renick suggests you can make the transition easier for yourself, and your baby, by starting slowly, a couple of weeks before you go to work. You can begin by leaving your baby with the childcare provider you have selected for an hour or two, and then a little longer, and then a little longer, as you prepare yourself for that first full day away. It’s still not going to be fun, but it will not be so sudden.By the way, Renick suggests word of mouth recommendations for infant care are probably the best sources for finding quality care. She says ask neighbors, fellow church members, co-workers, or maybe members of a mother’s support group. She also says your Human Resources Department at work may have a list of providers you can look over.
Renick adds that the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and Child Care Aware are great resources. Child Care Aware also has more information that may help you pick the best childcare situation for your family here.
About accreditation…Renick says the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the most widely known and has been the forerunner in childcare accreditation. There is much more on accreditation at the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs‘ website.For much more on how to get the most out of the amount of maternity leave you can afford to take, please listen to this Pea in the Podcast, Working While Pregnant.