When looking for child care, you have several options available. These include a child care center with an infant care section, a home child care provider, a relative or friend, a nanny or an au pair.
When looking for an infant care center, you will need to check the licensing of background of any center that you will be choosing. Getting this information on a center that is a franchise or corporation is a little more straightforward. A benefit to using a center is that when the provider is sick or unable to care for your child, there will be someone who can. These centers usually have a higher child to adult ratio. They should comply with the state laws on these figures though. Employees in this situation often have a high turnaround, so your baby may not be able to form an attachment to their caregiver in this setting.
A home child care provider can be a viable option for many families. They should be licensed and you can check the status of their license with your state’s department of child care licensing. Getting references and speaking to current and former families who have been in their care is critical. They have lower ratios of children to adults than others on average. One thing to consider is that when a child care provider is ill or goes on vacation, there may or may not be a substitute provider available. Attachment to a home daycare provider will be less of an issue as far as turnaround, since they will be with the same person each day. If you are a “baby wearer,” it is difficult to wear an infant in a home daycare setting. A home daycare provider may or may not be able to wear your baby all day, since she has other children to care for. One option is to provide your daycare provider with a baby wrap, such as the Cuddly Wrap to make wearing your baby easier.
You can hire a nanny or au pair who will care for your child in your home exclusively. You can also have a nanny share agreement wherein you share your nanny with another family. For many parents, this is usually a good option, since the person whom you have hired will be caring for your child exclusively. There is a turnaround with Au Pairs in that their assignment lasts for one year.