Child care is often a choice parents choose for their children. It's important to find the right one for you and your child.
All parents and families have different needs and reasons for placing their children in some type of day care. Like most parents of young children, you may have a job outside the home. This means you may need to place your child in the hands of a trusted adult while you’re at work. Finding the best child care for your family is a very important – and personal – decision.
When leaving your child with someone else while you’re away, it’s normal to have mixed emotions, like sadness or guilt. It’s also normal to want to go back to work, and it is often necessary. It’s important to know that your child can benefit and thrive from quality child care, while also maintaining a close and loving bond with you. And remember – your child’s brain develops through positive interactions with you and with the rest of the world.
Your young child deserves the best of everything, including the best child care. Your baby’s early experiences will shape the foundation for lifelong learning. These experiences, both in the home and in child care settings, affect how your child feels, thinks, and interacts with others. So selecting the right child care setting for your family is important.
It’s a good idea to start early in your search for child care since it can take time to find the most suitable caregiver. And it’s never too early to start looking. For instance, if you are pregnant and know you will be returning to work at some point after your baby is born, you can start looking into child care options several months before you actually need it.
QUICK TIP: Many child-care settings have waiting lists for children who want to attend in the future. This is why it’s so important to explore your options as early as possible. It also can be reassuring to know early on where and when your baby will be cared for as you prepare for that transition.