Whether you need full-time child care for your baby or you’re just looking for a few baby-free hours, most parents find that they will need to find child care at some point. Whether you need full-time or part-time child care for your child or you’re just looking for a few hours away, most parents find that they will need to find child care at some point. If you need child care, it’s good to start your search early, so that you can find a good fit .The options for child care can be overwhelming, so the first thing you need to do is to consider what is important to you.
• Do you need child care full-time, part-time or only once in a while? If part-time, will the days and hours be the same each week, or will you need flexibility?
• What hours do you need child care to be available? (Don’t forget to include travel time, if needed)
• How much can you afford to spend on childcare each month?
• What environment would be the best for your child? Do you want them to develop social skills in a group or do you want them to have individual attention?
If the cost of child care is too high for you to be able to afford it, you may find that you are eligible for the BC Child Care Subsidy. If your child has special needs, you may also be eligible for the Special Needs Supplement, which will make sure that extra resources are available to give your child the support he or she needs.
Some infants and toddlers have a hard time adjusting to child care. These tips may help make the transition easier:
• Give yourself extra time to stay with your child and the caregiver on the first day to help make the transition.
• Let your toddler bring a comfort item like a blanket or stuffed animal (if the child care is outside of the home).
• Take time to say “good-bye” before you leave. Tell your toddler when you’ll be back. Don’t just disappear when they’re distracted because that will almost always make things harder the next time.
• If possible, practice going to the daycare or babysitter’s to play for a short time before starting the child care.
• Talk about the child care before it happens. Let your toddler know what to expect. Use the caregivers names often.
• Learn more about separation anxiety.
There are things you can do to help prevent your child from getting sick if they’re in a group child care program. You can also check out Sneezes and Disease, VCH’s online resource for preventing and treating common illness in toddlers.