Choosing a child care provider

My neighbor, Maddie, is adorable and I love her to pieces.  She is 28 and eight months pregnant.  She has a fulltime job and really enjoys her work as a graphic artist and she is great at what she does.  She is planning on going back to work when her baby is about three months old.  Her husband is going to take family leave for three months after Maddie’s three months of maternity leave.  It’s after that that concerns them both.

Maddie and her husband have been talking about finding good child care for the baby and, as they are finding out, it’s not an easy thing to do.  They have been considering in-home care with an au pair or a nanny, family child care in someone else’s home, and day care in a local center.  Are you in a similar situation? We have written some things to consider when choosing a child care provider.  Do you have other suggestions I can pass on to them?

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4 Responses to “Choosing a child care provider”

  1. News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Choosing a child care provider | Says:

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  2. erin Says:

    One consequence of the current economic crisis is that more mothers are working. More new moms are remaining in the workforce and at-home mothers who had decided to put their careers on hold are having to return to work. With an increase in dual income households comes an increase in the demand for quality childcare.

    In some cases, this rising demand is driving up childcare costs. According to a recent report by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, the price of child care is rising faster than the average rate of inflation. The report, which provides typical prices of child care in centers, reveals that over the course of a year, the average price of full-time center care increased an average of 6.5 percent, almost three times the rate of inflation and more than increases in healthcare and college costs. Escalating childcare costs is having the greatest effect on the nanny business. A recent Wall Street Journal article estimated that full time nanny hiring is down between ten to thirty percent.

    One childcare program, however, has been able to meet the growing demand for childcare with an affordable option for working parents. Cultural Care Au Pair is a childcare and cultural exchange program based in Cambridge, MA, that places au pairs across the country. Demand for au pairs is growing. Data from the U.S. Department of State, which regulates the au pair program, shows that nearly 22,000 au pairs came to the United States last year, up 44% from 2004. With hundreds of available, qualified au pairs, Cultural Care is able to meet the needs of families looking for quality childcare.

  3. Emily D Says:

    I have placed numerous J-1 Visa au pairs in homes just like theirs! These young women (and men, but women are preferred by most people for infants) come from 6 different continents, over 40 countries. They are screened and have verified references. Au Pairs who care for babies carry a special infant qualification as well. All au pairs spend 1 to 2 years living with you as part of your family and taking care of the children. So many of these relationships turn into long lasting friendships and add to the depth of the childrens’ lives.

    Au pairs are also an affordable alternative. At present they can work up to 45 hours a week and all fees paid only add up to $320 per week – that’s about $7 per hour. The schedule can vary from week to week and the hours can be in the day or night (as long as they work no more than 10 hours per day). This offers many possiblities for work hours or even a date night occasionally for the parents!

  4. Lindsay Says:

    Erin and Emily – Thanks so much for your great information on au pairs. It’s helpful for working moms to know their options.