Fair   58.0F  |  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

Passport Rules for Kids

Passport Rules for Kids

If you're planning on traveling with your family outside of the country, they'll need a passport. Find out what you need and how to get passports for children.

Tips for Saving Cash on Flights

Tips for Saving Cash on Flights

Find out how your family can save money when flying abroad and in the country.

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Your Children

Tips for Traveling Internationally with Your Children

Thought about taking your kids for a trip abroad? You should! Here are tips to help make your cultural excursion easier – and cheaper – than you might think.

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Staying Home Alone: How to Know When Your Child is Ready

Whether you just want to run an errand or need to hit the gym for a break, it could be time to let your tween stay home alone. Here are a few ways to know your kid is prepared.

Craft Roundup: Get Ready for the Beach

Craft Roundup: Get Ready for the Beach

Whether you're hitting the pool or lake, southeast Michigan is packed with watery summer fun. These projects are inspired by (and ready for) this very topic!

Social Savvy: Raising Kids Who Can Make Connections

Social Savvy: Raising Kids Who Can Make Connections

At each stage of development, there are things parents can do for their kids to help them with social skills and making friendships.

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Explore the Grand Canyon in Arizona

If you haven't seen the wonder that is the Grand Canyon, you owe it to yourself and your kids to go.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement