Overcast   50.0F  |  Forecast »

Is it Time for Daycare?

Taking your kids to a daycare facility is a tough choice for many parents. Here's how moms and dads can cope with the transition.

Claire Manhaus didn't know how she was going to do it. The Ann Arbor mom had spent four of the six weeks she had off for maternity leave without ever being away from her baby daughter, Ava, for more than a couple of hours. But now, with two weeks left before she had to go back to work, she was in a panic.

"I was trying to think of any possible scenario that would mean I wouldn't have to leave my daughter," Manning says, "but there was nothing. I had to go back to work and she had to spend most of her day away from me. That was just the reality."

Hard choice

Manning isn't alone. Whether the child is a few months or a few years old when the parents realize they have to make daycare arrangements, it's tough – for the parent who's been the primary caregiver and sometimes for the child, who is used to mom or dad being home with him.

Part of the issue is concern for the child's care.

"It is hard for me to leave my 3-year-old with new people," says Detroit mom Danielle Horton. "I fear they won't take care of her as well as I do. Or follow the special attention she needs."

Taking the plunge

The first step for parents looking for daytime childcare for their kids is to do research and get recommendations.

"If you don't have family or friends watching your child for you, then you really only have one option – daycare," says Manning. "And it's not easy. You want to make sure you pick the right place for your child."

No. 1 on the things-to-do list is to research daycare facilities, get recommendations and then schedule visits to the top few contenders. Once you make your decision, it's up to the daycare to make you more comfortable with actually leaving your child.

"For the child's first day, I like the parent's to stick around with us for that morning, so they can adjust to us," says Angela Johnson, owner/director of Rainbow House Day Care in Pontiac.

Michele Michaels of Little People Child Care in Westland takes pictures of the children playing and having fun for one week and puts together a scrapbook, so that the parents can know exactly what their children are doing and being taught.

The adjustment

Over time, parents become more comfortable, especially if the kids are adjusting well. And daycares make efforts to help in that regard, too.

"Usually, I have activities already set up for the children who throw tantrums to distract them," says Michaels.

According to Michaels, parents can help kids adjust, too. She believes short and sweet partings are best, giving parents up to five minutes to say goodbye.

Manhaus is already imagining her first parting with baby Ava before she heads to her first day back to work.

"I'll make sure she has everything she needs. Give her a kiss and just walk out the door," Manhaus. "I'm sure I'll cry my way to work, but it will be OK. I know she'll be OK."

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Make It Review: Rolli Stamps and Project Idea

Make It Review: Rolli Stamps and Project Idea

This cool new inked stamper product by Funnybone Muse is sure to be a family craft staple. Here's what it's about, and how to use it to jazz up a note card.

Craft Roundup: Muppets Most Wanted Inspired DIY Fun

Craft Roundup: Muppets Most Wanted Inspired DIY Fun

These cool DIY projects are a blast for kids and families to make, all celebrating Disney's latest movie spin on the classic Muppet gang.

Tax Tips for Parents: Deductions and Credits to Know About

Tax Tips for Parents: Deductions and Credits to Know About

April 15 is the IRS tax filing deadline, aka Tax Day. Whether you've got a baby or a college kid, here's how to get the most out of your income tax returns.

9 Month Bump Maternity Apparel Boutique in Trenton

9 Month Bump Maternity Apparel Boutique in Trenton

This downriver area consignment store is stocked with lots of trendy gently used options for new and expecting moms, plus handmade baby gifts and more.

Glass Action! Ferndale Mom Makes Cool Stained Glass Stuff

Glass Action! Ferndale Mom Makes Cool Stained Glass Stuff

Along with her iconic rock 'n' roll nightlights, Carey Gustafson makes custom portraits of kids, parents, pets and more, perfect for a cool family gift

Kid-Friendly Matzo Recipes for Passover

Kid-Friendly Matzo Recipes for Passover

Make this Jewish holiday memorable for your family with these creative recipes – from matzo grilled cheese to matzo lasagna.

Paint Wood-Turned Egg Forms for an Easter Treat that Lasts

Paint Wood-Turned Egg Forms for an Easter Treat that Lasts

Why not try a more eco-friendly version of plastic eggs with your family this holiday season? This DIY project is super customizable and makes great decor.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement