Choosing Child Care (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Beginning Your Search
Think about what you need
When you start looking for child care, narrow down your choices by considering practical issues as well as your child's needs. Do you need an individual or group care provider? Or do you need an after-school program or camp to fill in gaps between school hours and your work schedule? Here are some other questions to consider:
Visit the care setting
Visit the facility or caregiver's home, and get involved in any special activities. Watch the interaction between caregivers and children. Make sure you feel comfortable with your decision.
Individual Care Providers
Types of individual providers
Selecting an individual care provider
Have a clear idea about what type of person you are looking for. It may be helpful to:
There are two basic ways to find an individual child care provider:
It's important to interview potential providers. Use a phone interview for the initial screening. Ask questions about their work experience, their references, and whether they have questions for you.
When you have narrowed down your selection, conduct a personal interview with each of your top choices. Allow enough time for the applicant to be introduced to your child.
Be sure to check the references of your top choices. Ask each reference how long he or she has known the provider, specifics of the provider's duties, and why the employment ended.
Selecting a babysitter or mother's helper
Choose a babysitter or mother's helper by asking friends and other caregivers you trust. You may also want to ask for recommendations from a local organization, such as the YMCA.
Before you hire a teen to watch your child:
Schedule a meeting with the caregiver and your child, and watch how they interact. Some caregivers may not have confidence. This doesn't mean they will not ever be able to watch your child. But it may mean that you will need to have a few babysitting dates while you are present before leaving them on their own.
Classes help babysitters prepare for the responsibilities of watching your child. They can also provide valuable skills in case of an emergency, such as first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training. Classes often are available through local agencies, churches, hospitals, or schools.
Know your responsibilities
If you use an individual care provider for your family on a regular basis, you may be obligated to comply with employer rules and regulations of the federal, provincial, and local governments.
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