Why Child Care is Necessary
Latchkey kids are a thing of the past and for good reason. Child care is a necessary part of parenting, and there are many services available today to assist with this tough challenge. Societies now encourage children to learn more, become responsible at an earlier age, and to put it simply, grow up faster. Parents are no longer encouraged to allow a child of seven or eight to take him or herself home after school and stay alone until Mom or Dad get home from work. Sexual predators are a very real threat; a child can be followed home from school and victimized. But if there is child care, this will be avoided.
Today, child care abounds. There is full-time, part-time, drop-in and day care centers. Child care doesn’t have to mean you’re away from your child all day from morning to night, missing the milestones we all enjoy. Depending on your child care needs, and your work situation, sometimes child care can be very minimal. Maybe several hours a week will be all you need from an in-home child care provider, with a backup of drop-in child care for those emergency or unplanned occasions; a drop-in child care provider can be a lifesaver.
You can still interact with your child while he is at child care. Offering to volunteer, especially when your child is in attendance, will make him feel more comfortable when you are not there. Making sure you attend when it is your child’s birthday is an important goal to strive for. Most child care providers and day care centers make a party on a child’s birthday, as do kindergartens and grammar schools. You can also surprise your child and stop by during your lunch break and offer to eat lunch with him, read a book or just play with him. If your child care provider has a website or a newsletter that is sent home, you can plan ahead to attend one of the events they have scheduled, such as a field trip to a museum or a park. Just spending some time with your child is important and meaningful while he is spending his day in child care.
Child care can also mean a family member watching your child. There are still some vital guidelines, however, to follow if this is your child care situation. If the relative is an older person, you certainly want to make sure that they are capable of handling any type of emergency that might arise. Also, if the relative has to take any medication while he is providing child care to your child, the medications should be unavailable to the child. No matter what age a child is, it is strenuous activity at the least. Falling back on television as an activity is frowned upon; however, some children’s television shows are all about learning and should be allowed. This also gives the caregiver time to catch their breath! If your relative is of the younger generation, they may not need to take time out to catch a breath, but they certainly need to be coached in what you are requiring of them.
Making a list would be helpful, having several sessions alone with the child while Mom runs an errand will give you and your child some time to see how the caregiver and your child get along. Through trial and hopefully not very much error, child care can be a cakewalk.