Childcare – the important questions to consider

Nursery worker reading to children

After having your baby, the time will soon come to making the tough decisions about what to do in the future – returning to work. You may have considered or discussed this when pregnant, or before having your baby, but if you do decide to return to work you will need to consider childcare.

What is available?
Other than sorting childcare with your partner, there are a few different options available when looking for childcare, although not all of these may be applicable:
• Family and friends
• Day nursery
• Childminder
• Nanny
• Au Pair

Things to consider before going any further
When looking for childcare and solutions that are going to fit you and your family, it is advisable to draw up a list of questions so see what will work before for you all. Things to think about include:

Journey – do you want your child to be close to your work or to your home? You will also need to consider the different travel times, some childcare providers may charge you if you are late at pick up and drop off, so it is important to carefully think about what is going to work best for you and suit your commute.

Back up plan – are you going to be able to have a back up plan in place in case you are stuck in traffic, held up at work or just running late? Maybe you could ask a grandparent or family member to be on standby in case you are ever running slightly behind. If this is something that you would consider, it is worth taking the family member with you to meet the childcare provider when the time is right. Many childcare providers will not release a child unless it is to someone whom they know and have met before – you may also need to sign a disclaimer when you enrol.

Child friendships – would you like your child to go to primary school with a few children that he or she already knows? If so, it is advisable to look at nursery settings or childcare providers that work closely with feeder schools in the area.

Emergency – if there is an emergency, would you be able to reach your child at the childcare setting in a reasonable timeframe? If not, this is something you would have to consider, or make alternative arrangements for, such as partner or your back up plan again.

After thinking about the needs of your family and what it is that you would like to get out of childcare, it is then time to start thinking about which of the childcare options are right for you. In our next blog, we will look further onto these different childcare providers to help you understand which is going to be best for you!


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